News from the Votemaster
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama had their first "debate" in two months last night in Philadelphia. As to be expected, the moderators zoomed in on the big question of the year--whether the Yale-educated lawyer or the Harvard-educated lawyer is better at eating pork rinds and drinking beer with "the people." Obama was grilled about his comments about small town folks being bitter and clinging to religion. Clinton was grilled about how many bullets were flying overhead when she visited Bosnia in an earlier century. Obama said one (maybe two) words wrong last week ("bitter" and "cling") and that was the only news story for a week. Clinton visited 82 countries as first lady and exaggerated the details of one landing and that was the main story for the week before. Does anyone really care (other than the media, who love playing Gotcha)?
On the whole, Obama was on the defensive more than Clinton, having to deal with tough policy questions like why he doesn't wear an American flag pin on his suit and also his connections with 1970s radicals decades ago. Somehow the moderators slipped up on a couple of occasions and actually asked wonky questions, like the candidates positions on taxes (both will raise them on incomes above $200,000 to $250,000). When asked if he saw any role for George Bush in his administration, Obama said he might ask for an opinion from time to time--of George H.W. Bush, father of the current President. Neither candidate was willing to say anything about choosing the other one as Veep. Given how much they dislike each other now, with both of them on the ticket, the media would devote close to 100% of its time looking for intramural sniping.
All in all, it was a pretty useless and uninformative debate. The moderators should be ashamed of themselves. They could have grilled the candidates on what they are going to do to bring jobs to small towns or what their exit plan for Iraq is.
Obama released his 2007 tax returns. He made $4.2 million last year. While he is not in Clinton territory yet (the Clintons made $22 million last year), at least he and Michelle don't have to eat dog food.
We have a new poll for Pennsylvania and also one for North Carolina. Clinton maintains her lead in PA and Obama maintains his in NC. In the general election, a new poll in Louisiana gives McCain a solid lead there over Clinton (49% to 42%) and an even bigger one over Obama (51% to 35%).
Here are the delegate totals from various news sources rounded to integers (Democrats Abroad has 22 delegates, each with 1/2 vote). The sources differ because in most caucus states, no delegates to the national conventions have been chosen yet, just delegates to the district, county, or state convention so there is some guesswork involved. Furthermore, some of the unpledged delegates are elected at state conventions in May or June. Finally, the PLEOs (Party Leaders and Elected Officials) sometimes waver and may tell different reporters slightly different stories that they interpret differently.
Needed to win: Democrats 2024, Republicans 1191.
Here is another source for delegate totals.
-- The Votemaster