Bloggers on Obama's big wins.

The latest chatter in cyberspace.
Feb. 20 2008 5:24 PM

Deep in the Heart of the Primaries

Bloggers are reacting to Sen. Barack Obama's big wins in the Wisconsin primary and Hawaiian caucuses Tuesday, and watching for falling satellites.

Deep in the heart of the primaries: By the time final results were tallied in Wisconsin and Hawaii, a victorious Barack Obama had already moved onto Texas to focus on the upcoming primary battle there on March 4. Bloggers are doing likewise.

Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post's Fix pauses  to reflect on Obama's 10 straight primary victories before looking toward the Lone Star state: "It's easy to forget -- amid the granular coverage of this race -- just how amazing a feat that is and how much pressure Clinton will now feel as she looks down the road to two must-win races in the Ohio and Texas primaries on March 4. … Obama is building the coalition that Clinton appeared to have built in earlier votes. And without winning back a significant portion of that coalition, it becomes VERY difficult for her to come from behind."  Über-conservative Larry Kudlow at the National Review's Corner is less gracious about the senator's win over Clinton: "He out organized her in the precincts. He out fundraised her. He out speechified her. He out-hustled her. He out-dressed her. He out-presidentialed her. He outdid her and he outbid her for votes, one promised government check at a time."

Patrick Appel, filling in at Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish, agrees that the momentum is with Obama: "Obama is doing better with lower income voters and Gallup shows him making gains with Latinos. Texas suddenly looks like much friendlier territory. A seventeen-point loss in Wisconsin isn't something Clinton can spin." Appel refers us to David Kurtz at Talking Points Memo, who warns that "the electorate isn't remaining static. It's moving, and the exit polls suggest it's moving toward Obama. Last week, Obama made gains among white voters and women in Virginia and Maryland. Today, the exit polls show him eroding her core constituencies further."

Liberal Paul Loeb at the Huffington Post is looking at his watch and sighing: "Wisconsin should answer any lingering questions about [Obama's] potential range of support. The only question now is how much damage Clinton will do before she finally hits the wall and quits." And at the New Republic's Stump, Michael Crowley calls Hillary a loser: "Remember the 'Saturday Night Live' sketch in which Hillary (as played by Amy Poehler) smugly cracked that Democrats would support their nominee 'no matter who she may be'? It's been a few weeks since that inevitability collapsed--the South Carolina blowout was probably the tipping point. But it was only last night that Hillary finally acquired the odor of a loser."

Meanwhile, Obama supporter and Texas state Sen. Kirk Watson gained some unwanted notoriety for his less-than-stellar response to Chris Matthews' demand for a list of Obama's "legislative accomplishments" on MSNBC.

Conservative Ed Morrissey at Captain's Quarters offers some unwelcome sympathy: "Obama simply doesn't have any record to show. He has been in the Senate a grand total of three years, one of which he's spent running for President. He has no record of even attempting to bring any of the themes on which he's running now to the Senate for consideration as actual legislative product. Why didn't he act when he had the chance?"

Read more about Obama's victory. In Slate, John Dickerson writes that "white men jumped" to Obama.

The hydrazine is falling! The night sky will be busy Wednesday. The U.S. Navy may attempt to destroy a disabled spy satellite with an SM-3 missile as early as Wednesday night, while astronomers—amateur and otherwise—will be getting a glimpse of a total lunar eclipse. The Bush administration says the shoot-down is a safety issue: If the toxic hydrazine fuel onboard the satellite falls to Earth, it could pose a serious health risk. But Russia claims that's just a cover for the United States to test out new anti-satellite weaponry. (Does this argument sound familiar? The United States made similar protests when China used a missile to knock out a satellite of its own about a year ago.)

At Prometheus, Roger Pielke Jr., former director of the University of Colorado's Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, has doubts about the justification for the shot. He says if safety is the goal, a cost-benefit analysis of the project's $60 million price tag just doesn't add up: "So there must be other perceived benefits as well -- such as testing the U.S. military's ability to hit a satellite, showing adversaries U.S. military prowess, and simply eliminating uncertainty associated with the satellite's reentry. The odds may be tiny, but if it happens to land on the Russian Embassy in Ecuador, or some other highly inconvenient place, there would certainly be a huge diplomatic crisis."

Former meteorologist Anthony Watts at Watts Up With That? observes that the expected timing of the missile shot coincides nicely with the lunar eclipse: "They'll certainly have a lot of eyes, cameras, and telescopes out with the lunar eclipse, so it will either be a spectacular success (with lots of pictures) or a spectacular failure (with lots of pictures)."

Joshua Topolsky on Engadget notes: "Cost of shooting down a spy satellite: $60m. Look on Alien's face when the missile hits: priceless."

Read more about the satellite shoot-down. ReadSlate's Explainer on "How To Blow Up a Satellite."

Susan Daniels is a former Slate staffer. She lives in Amsterdam.


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