Bloggers on the DNC's vote on Florida and Michigan.

The latest chatter in cyberspace.
June 3 2008 2:07 PM

Too Clever by Half?

Bloggers react to the DNC's Florida and Michigan decision, Vanity Fair's critical profile of Bill Clinton, and the fire at Universal Studios.

Too clever by half? The DNC voted to seat delegates from Michigan and Florida at the convention, but accord them only half a vote. Bloggers debate what this means for the Clinton campaign.

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At Hot Air, conservative Ed Morrissey sums up: "Democrats wound up with a compromise that solved nothing. Obama still needs more delegates to get to the nomination than he can possibly win in the few remaining primaries. The decision to halve the vote mirrors that of the Republicans, but the method … has created a second-class delegate status that guarantees bitter feelings." 

TPM ElectionCentral's Eric Kleefeld deems the decision "a huge blow to Hillary's hopes" and says it hampers her attempt to " to try to narrow Obama's unofficial popular vote lead."  But Clinton supporter Jeralyn Merritt at TalkLeft argues that "[if] Hillary is ahead in the popular vote on June 3, there are a myriad of reasons for superdelegates to choose her over Barack Obama. Chief among them are her greater ability to win in November, particularly in the big swing states like Ohio and Florida; the electoral map that favors her; and the fact that she does so much better than Obama with older voters, rural voters, female voters and working class voters."

Huffington Post political director Hilary Rosen advises Clinton on how best to win over her party, claiming that in the general election, "the polls show, at least for now, that you would give us a more comfortable cushion for the inevitable ebb and flow of campaign politics."  Rosen tells Clinton to "[m]ake your case based on the electability argument. It may be persuasive. ... Don't stir up our base with anger and the irrationality of the 'if onlys.' Let the Rules and Bylaws Committee decision go. Those 4 delegates don't matter at this point."


At the New Republic's Plank, Michael Crowley observes that the DNC hearings "felt more like a test of power--about how much face Hillary could save, how much respect she could earn from the party machine" and concludes "that's what her candidacy's endgame seems increasingly about: Leaving on her own terms, with the greatest possible aura of strength and potency, setting the tone for her next act."

Read more about the DNC vote on Florida and Michigan.

Bill-lash:Bill Clinton's post-presidential behavior comes under scrutiny in a lengthy Vanity Fair piece by former White House correspondent Todd Purdum. Clinton's camp has issued a lengthy retort, calling it "a tawdry, anonymous quote-filled attack piece." What's Clinton mad about? Sample sentence: "No former president of the United States has ever traveled with such a fast crowd, and most 61-year-old American men of Clinton's generation don't, either."

"It's hard for me to tell how much of the sleazy behavior that Purdum hints at here is actually true. Based on the record, it wouldn't at all be unlike Clinton for some of it to be true," reflectsMatthew Yglesias. "And based on the record, it wouldn't at all be unlike the press to run with some of it even if it isn't true. But either way, the point is that if there really is such a thing as the candidate with no new skeletons to be chewed over by the right-wing (and I'm skeptical there is) Hillary Clinton isn't it, any more than Barack Obama is."

At the Los Angeles Times'Top of the Ticket, Scott Martelle critiques the piece: "It's getting reduced to sex in some places -- friends worried that he was spending suspicion-raising time with attractive women on the road -- but there's no smoking gun…, and focusing on speculation about a return to form for the former wanderer-in-chief does the article a disservice."  Though he writes that the VF piece is "a good read from a journalist who knows him well," Politico's Ben Smith agrees that "[t]he story also hints at scandal, but doesn't deliver any at all."  However,Michael Scherer at Time's Swampland declares that "[f]ar more extraordinary than the piece, however, is the 2,481 word rebuttal by Clinton's office. …It is a masterpiece of muscular misdirection."

Read more about the Vanity Fair article.

Fired up: A fire at Universal Studios on Sunday burned through several sets, including the courthouse square where 1985's Back to the Future was filmed, and a video library. Bloggers survey the destruction.

"Contrary to internet hysteria, the Back to the Future clock…was damaged but remains standing, although the courthouse facade adjacent to it was destroyed, as was all of New York Street," informsSpoutBlog's Karina Longworth.  Josh Tyler at CinemaBlend chimes in with a history of damage to the clock tower: "This isn't the first time it caught fire, in fact in the 90s the original Courthouse Square set was burned down and had to be rebuilt." 

Knoxville bloggers Dave and Thomas offer a tongue-in-cheek commentary: "Ironically, the fire-laden 'Backdraft' exhibit was spared. As was the 'Jaws' exhibit. 30 years and 2 huge fires later that exhibit just won't stop going."  Entertainment blog BuzzSugar notes, "Many of the people quoted about the fire can't help but quip that the incident was just like what filmmakers crave when making a disaster film, except, you know, real."

Read more about the Universal Studios fire.

Morgan Smith, a former Slate intern, is a law student in Austin, Texas.

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