Bloggers preview the Kentucky and Oregon primaries.

The latest chatter in cyberspace.
May 19 2008 5:53 PM

Primary Predictions

Bloggers are dishing about the upcoming Democratic primaries and are touched by story of a Chinese couple who survived together in the rubble after the earthquake in Sichuan province.

Primary predictions: A day before the Kentucky and Oregon Democratic primaries, bloggers have a bevy of topics on their minds: An Obama rally in Oregon drew an estimated 75,000 people Sunday (conservatives are jumping on his remarks at another Oregon rally about excessive consumption); there are reports that fundraisers for the Obama and Clinton camps are in closed-door talks about strategy for the general election; and rumors are floating that former Clinton campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle couldsoon be joining Obama's team.

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At Blogtown, PDX, Erik Henriksen, a reporter for Portland alt-weekly the Mercury, captures the mood of the rally. "[T]he first thing … Obama remarks on is how this is 'the most spectacular setting and most spectacular crowd in this entire campaign,' and with the sun shining on the river and on the park and on the however many tens of thousands of people who're going apeshit and holding up their hands and children and cell phones, it's surprisingly easy to believe that Obama might actually mean it." Huffington Post has a slide show of the crowd. "John McCain couldn't get 75,000 to show up if he was giving away free cars," snipes David, a Colorado-based progressive at Square State.

At TPM's Election Central, Greg Sargent is perplexed  by Solis Doyle's potential jump to Obama. "That the woman who actually coined the expression 'Hillaryland' would be discussing this at this juncture -- when the official position of the Hillary campaign is that this thing is far from over -- is pretty striking." New York's Daily Intel is shocked. "This would be a huge defection for Doyle. … It's general practice for campaign operatives to switch camps once a party nominee has been selected, but it's generally not people as high-placed as Doyle, and it generally does not come before a losing candidate has conceded."

Some bored by the primaries are already talking vice-presidential candiates. Over at the Left Coaster, Turkana examines possible choices. "It would help if Obama selected a Clinton loyalist as his running-mate, although it's hard to see how the selection of a Clinton loyalist will repair the damage, unless that loyalist is Clinton herself. Which many Obama bloggers and supporters refuse even to consider." California liberal Todd Beeton suggests at My DD that Hillary and her supporters would be an asset to the Obama ticket. "The army of passionate supporters she would bring to bear would outweigh the negative effects of her so-called baggage and would actually serve to mitigate the baggage that Obama brings to the ticket."

Worried about lingering rifts in the Democratic Party, IvoryTowerz, American University journalism professor Rick Rockwell, looks to the DNC leadership for help. "It seems [Howard] Dean will have to find a way to make peace, because the candidate who says he can heal partisan rifts has no plan for doing just that within his own party, and the junior senator from New York has too much pride to go gracefully."

Many right-leaning bloggers, including John Hawkins at Right Wing News, recoil in disgust at Obama's comments on American consumption in Oregon Saturday. "Let's see what changes we'll apparently see under Obama: SUV's will be outlawed, we will no longer eat as much as we want, we will no longer be able to set our thermostats as high as 72 degrees, and it will be vitally important that we get other countries to say 'OK' to us about those issues."Conservative Gina Cobb dubs Obama the second coming of Jimmy Carter. "Obama is beginning to remind me of Jimmy Carter lecturing me about putting on a sweater."

"If you think you've been nannied half to death by the politically correct crowd, you ain't seen nothin' yet," cries conservative Brett Hall at Kentucky Politics. Bill Nienhuis, a conservative from Bellingham, Wash., warns at Pundit Guy that this is just the beginning of government intrusion into everyday life if Obama is elected in November. "Say 'NO' to Obama, or get used to the government sleeping in your bed."

Crunchy Con Rod Dreher takes a different tack and suggests churches should take a cue. "Wouldn't it be smart if churches took up the issue of food waste as part of teaching about the virtues of thrift? It's all part of stewardship."

Read more on Tuesday's primaries.

Love amid the rubble: Wang Zhijun and Li Wanzhi spent 28 hours in the remains of their crumbled six-story dormitory in Shifang, China, taking turns breathing and speaking of the need to survive for their 14-year-old daughter. Though times had been troubled for them, they pulled together during the disaster that claimed the lives of more than 70,000 Chinese.

At Lazy Geisha, Japanese-American Nina Aoki praises the article for humanizing the tragedy. "Most of us know what it feels like when we lose one person we care about, but very few, if any of us, have any frame of context or reference to grasp death on that kind of catastrophic scale – which is why sometimes it takes a single human story to come out of such a tragedy to help put things into perspective, and to put a face on such massive human loss." At the Age of Brillig, the Manila-based blogger is touched by the pair's tale. "This story is the sort of gold mine demanded by newspaper editors -- the triumph of human love in the face of unspeakable tragedy."

At Yellow Journalism Done Wight, "Bai Ni," an American living in Shanghai, writes, "The nationalism brought on by Tibet and the protested Olympic torch rally that has been boiling over in China is now being funneled into a good cause, as donations of clothes, money and blood are flowing out from every corner of China and all corners of the world."

Read more reaction to the couple's story.

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