Obama abandoning affirmative action?

A mostly political Weblog.
May 14 2007 7:37 PM

First Alterman, Then Obama!

The end of affirmative action, continued.

(Continued from Page 10)

Because our troops are part of the problem in Iraq? Because Petraeus' "surge" mission is futile? Why?

If not, Hagel said, "then the prospects of the Republican Party are very dim next year."

Oh, well, inthat case! ...

P.S.: Helping Republicans in 2008 also seems to be the main motive driving those conservatives who are urging passage of "comprehensive immigration" reform this year. ... One more example and it will be a trend. ...

P.P.S.:--All 'Strange New Respect,'  All the Time: Novak describes Hagel as a "faithful suporter of President Bush's non-Iraq policies." Really? It seems to me that Hagel has made a career of going on Sunday morning talk shows and sniping at his own party on all sorts of issues, including non-Iraq issues. That's his schtick! I bet I could find three examples. ... 12:03 A.M. 

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Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Does Hillary Want Gore In?--Part II: Alert reader M.E. Duckenfield emails a dissent from my suggestion that Hillary might eke out a "plurality" victory if Gore enters the race and dilutes the Obama vote:

Given the Democrats relatively proportional system of dividing delegates, a fourth major candidate pretty much ensures a brokered convention.  Edwards, Gore and Obama would need to only average just over 17% each to garner over half the delegates between them - since the party rules give out delegates by congressional district (between 3-8 per CD) and candidates have to have over 15% to get a delegate, major candidates have a huge advantage.  All of the non-Hillary candidates have some clear powerbases - Edwards will do disproportionately well in the South and perhaps the MidWest; Gore will have some strength in the South, but also California.  Obama will do well with black voters and in Illinois and other states with large urban centers.  That leaves Hillary to try and pick up 50% of the delegates where she can (presumably well-supported by the Super-Delegates).  Even coming in first everywhere but the South with 30% is not going to be good enough.  A Gore-Obama ticket supported by Edwards could well be the outcome even if Hillary is the plurality winner. [E.A.]

I don't know enough about the complicated delegate selection rules to predict if a 30% plurality showing would yield only 30% of the delegate crop. Isn't it likely that in each state at least one of the other three candidates would fall below the 15% threshhold, increasing Hillary's relative delegate strength (assuming she gets at least 15% everywhere)? In any case, while the delegate victory might be allocated proportionally, the media victory won't be. If Hillary wins Iowa with 30%, she'll get a publicity boost that will serve her well in the giant multi-state primary a few weeks later. John Kerry won Iowa with a 37.5% plurality and proved unstoppable after that. And if a plurality makes John Kerry unstoppable .... P.S.: Also, the primaries in 2004 weren't as front-loaded as they will be in 2008--meaning that the initial media boost out of Iowa three years ago counted for less than it's likely to count for next year. ... 11:18 P.M. link

Thomas Edsall, one of the subtlest and best-informed political reporters around--and a Democrat allergic to bogus Dem optimism--has signed on to run HuffPo's political coverage. This should be interesting. My guess is that Edsall's politics are one or two giant steps to the right of the politics of HuffPo's readers--who are not allergic to bogus Dem optimism. Here, for example is Edsall five weeks ago  urging the Pelosi-Reid Democrats to abandon their attempts to force an end to the Iraq war via Congressional resolution  and instead hold hearings into Bush's military mismanagement:

The resolution — more precisely, a set of deals intended to paper over intraparty factions — is the result of a process better suited to a highway bill than national security.

This patchwork proposal not only demonstrates the House leadership's inability to extract a meaningful consensus from a membership that runs the ideological gamut from the Out of Iraq Caucus on the left to the Blue Dogs on the right. It also risks setting the Democrats up for a poisonous share of responsibility for the failure of United States foreign policy, while amplifying questions regarding Democratic competence on military matters. ... [snip]

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