February 16, 2008


Obama Unmasked & Gamed (MyDD)

The pattern is so widespread that one has to wonder what is going on?

Obama, via his now obvious campaign strategy outlined above, would have us believe that his cross party appeal is bringing in tons of new voters. Men and women, he asserts, who are abandoning their party to vote for him. And some Democratic Party officials and activists are supporting Obama based on this assertion. Who doesn't want a candidate who can bring in masses of new voters? Nancy Pelosi it has been rumored, impressed by this vote-getting ability, is considering endorsing Obama.

But what if Obama is not actually bringing in tons of new voters? What if Republicans have organized to cross party lines or vote independent with one goal in mind: to defeat Senator Clinton. And what if this strategy was developed by top level Republican party functionaries-- including Karl Rove-- who believe Clinton will be the more formidable opponent in the general election?

Anecdotal evidence in support of a Republican manipulation is everywhere. Remember the recent Obama win in Maryland? Nicole Price, the Maryland political director of Obama's campaign told the Washington Times that when she arrived in the state to ramp up the campaign. She found "a home-grown campaign already thriving." Republicans backing Obama had put more yard signs in Maryland than in South Carolina and they had paid for the signs "themselves." The Times also noted that in Louisiana, where he won by a wide margin, exit polls showed that Republicans who voted in the Democratic primary favored Mr. Obama 3-1 over Clinton. About 5 percent of the voters in the Democratic primary said they were Republicans.

According to the Washington Times story, Daniel B., Chance, a retired oil man, voted for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in the Maryland Republican primary in the morning. He then spent the afternoon making calls from the phone bank at the Obama campaign's Baltimore County Headquarters in Towson.

The critical point here is this: what is a loyal Huckabee supporter doing making calls for Obama?

Moreover, the Huckabee supporter joined a large mix of either Republicans like himself or Democrat for-a-day Republican converts who were also making calls on behalf of Obama.

Besides this anecdotal evidence, are there any hard facts which support a widespread Republican manipulation of the Democratic primaries? Time magazine reports,
"Rank and file Republicans in red states have switched their party registrations to vote in Democratic primaries."
In Nebraska, the mayor of Omaha publicly rallied Republicans to caucus for Obama on February 9th. And according to CNN in Iowa 44 percent of those voting for Obama were Republican.

Joe Conason in Salon in late December wrote,

"In the weeks since Karl Rove offered his unsolicited advice on how to defeat Hillary Clinton in the pages of the Financial Times, right wing expressions of support for Obama have become increasingly conspicuous and voluble."
These include opinion makers like the Weekly Standard, William Kristol who endorsed Obama in a NY Times editorial and George Will. Three major fundraisers for the President have now given money to Obama. The Weekly Standard ran a cover story in early December that according to Conason "literally swooned" over Obama. This story was written by Stephen Hays, Dick Cheney's admiring biographer and according to Conason "the last journalist on earth who still believes that Saddam Hussein was allied with al_Qaida."
On a personal note, Democratic caucus goers here in Nevada have told me of Republicans literally leaving their caucuses (that began at 9am) and heading over to ours that began at 11am. We know of at least one Obama supporter distributing "Be a Democrat for a Day" flyers in Reno, specifically targeting the Hillary-haters that lived in his precinct.

The Obama campaign tried to wave this off as an over-enthusiastic volunteer, but the evidence is starting to mount that that the Obama campaign may be encouraging these "Democrats for a Day" strategies. And the GOP is happily playing along.
That's why "Democrat for a Day" was launched this spring by ObamaFlorida2008. Using the official forms provided by all Supervisors of Elections offices, you may re-register as a Democrat for that one day -- when the primary is likely to be held -- on February 5, 2008. You must do so before the end of 2007, to make sure it is done 30 days before the primary.

But this is not about some "hard sell" to recruit voters to become permanent Democrats. Not at all. After the primary, you may re-register back to the
Republican or Libertarian parties, or revert to your previous status as an Independent! There will be plenty of time before the general election in November 2008.
We are being gamed and there are enough people in my party who so want Obama to win that they are willingly deluding themselves that these "new" Democrats will be standing with us in November.

More to the point, shouldn't Democrats be determining their Democratic nominee? This is one of the few topics where I and the Lyon County Republican Party chair see eye to eye. Political parties are about partisanship, and there's nothing wrong with that. Democrats and Republicans have unique world views and beliefs in the best use of government, its responsibilities to the people it serves, the best use of our military, our resources, regulation, etc, and we need to be able to draw upon those distinctions when selecting our party's nominees.

We need to be able to sell our unique points of view to the voters, not mush it up into some non-palatable bipartisan mush. Yes, there are places where we can work together, but there are places where we have to draw our lines in the sand and make our case. As Anglachel puts it, there are "Fights worth having."
These are the battles that are fought when it seems we are just doing some policy wonkishness. The details matter. The concessions matter. There are points on which there cannot be compromise, where unity is not just undesireable but a mark of failure.
This is why I am supporting Hillary Clinton. She's not unwilling to work across the aisle, and in fact, has effectively done so. She just isn't willing to give away the store.

Other Disturbing News.

I am stunned. Talk about race baiting and extortion. I think I am going to be sick.

I would NEVER tell a woman that she should support Hillary just because she's a woman, but here we have the national co-chair of Obama's campaign doing just that with Black super delegates.
One black supporter of Clinton, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri, said he remains committed to her. "There's nothing going on right now that would cause me to" change, he said.

He said any suggestion that elected leaders should follow their voters "raises the age old political question. Are we elected to monitor where our constituents are ... or are we to use our best judgment to do what's in the best interests of our constituents."

In an interview, Cleaver offered a glimpse of private conversations.

He said Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois had recently asked him "if it comes down to the last day and you're the only superdelegate. ... Do you want to go down in history as the one to prevent a black from winning the White House?

"I told him I'd think about it," Cleaver concluded.

Jackson, an Obama supporter, confirmed the conversation, and said the dilemma may pose a career risk for some black politicians. "Many of these guys have offered their support to Mrs. Clinton, but Obama has won their districts. So you wake up without the carpet under your feet. You might find some young primary challenger placing you in a difficult position" in the future, he added.

Black Superdelegates Threatened, Pressured (No Quarter)

Black Commenter, Criticizing Obama, Causes Firestorm
Tavis Smiley, the bestselling author of the "Covenant With Black America," is in a world turned upside down. He said he's being "hammered," "barbecued," and is "catching hell" from black Americans for suggesting that Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) made a major mistake by declining to speak at the State of the Black Union event that Smiley plans to host next week in New Orleans.

"There's all this talk of hater, sellout and traitor," Smiley said to me in a telephone interview. Smiley even mentioned getting death threats, but wouldn't elaborate. He said his office has been flooded with angry e-mails. "I have family in Indianapolis. They are harassing my momma, harassing my brother. It's getting to be crazy," Smiley said.

On another note: Is Obama the Messiah?


sestamibi said...

I don't think the crossovers have been a factor--SO FAR. However, now that the GOP contest has pretty much been settled in McCain's favor, Republicans who want to stir up the pot a little can do so from this point on, under two conditions:

1) They can only cross over in open primary states. States like Nevada, with closed primaries, have significant barriers to doing this (mostly 30-day advance changes, etc.)

2) They would only be likely to do so ONLY for a presidential primary. If the ballot also includes contests for down ticket offices, they might stay with the GOP in order to vote on those.

carissa said...

I beg to differ, but Nevada's Democratic caucus, which happened on January 19th, allowed anyone that wanted to to register as a Democrat on the day of the caucus. Crossovers played a very large role in our caucus, with many people changing party on that date.

Did you read the post? 40% of Obama's Iowa support came from Republicans. I wrote of on-the-ground reports here in Nevada of Republicans coming to our caucuses immediately following theirs. In one precinct, around 15 Republicans came in and all went to the Obama group.That is definitely enough to skew the results in that precinct. Multiply that by hndreds of precincts and you've got a problem.

Another story I heard from Reno was that some people were literally holding the flyer I featured in my post. Another told me of speaking to some women who were sitting in the bleachers at their site letting them know that the caucus was about to begin and the women answering that they were just waiting for their Republican husbands who were going to be Democrats for a Day. They (the women) didn't think it right, so they weren't joining their husbands.

Most Democratic CAUCUSES allow same-day registration and party switching. The Republican caucuses do not. For instance, in Nevada you must have been registered as a Republican for 30 days and the only ones that can register at THEIR caucuses are those who will turn eighteen between the day of the caucus and General Election Day. In their case, Republicans decide on their nominee. They believe that if you couldn't have made the commitment to them at least thirty days before the process, then too bad.

carissa said...

sestamibi says: They would only be likely to do so ONLY for a presidential primary.

That is what we are talking about! Caucuses have no "down ticket" offices to vote for. They are ripe for voter manipulation if there is no voter registration deadline requirement.

Mike said...

This is disturbing and insulting all in one. Yeah, 85 year old Alice Devens from Point Arena, California and countless other life-long Republicans I know are part of a wide ranging plot!
Likely in league with Reptilain shapeshifting aliens! (Who Karl Rove is in league with.)

And, then there's that Rasmussen poll on the general election choices here in Nevada. All those folks who were surveyed are also in on the plot (though they may not know it because those Reptilian aliens...and, Karl Rove, are masters of manipulating folks, via their dream lives).

Mike said...

There's also this fellow tenant where I live, a Republican, who worked at Obama HQ (while also supporting Romney). He adores Obama! I think it's time to throw conventional wisdom out the window.
This guy is not part of a plan to get Hillary C. off the scene. He was actually inspired by Obama. He will NOT be voting for McCain, he says. Obama will get his vote.

carissa said...

There's also this fellow tenant where I live, a Republican, who worked at Obama HQ (while also supporting Romney). He adores Obama!

Really? Adores Obama? But supported a Republican candidate at the same time he was supporting Obama? So, what did he do on caucus day? Go to both caucuses? Wait until caucus day to change his registration? You are proving my point. If indeed he participated in both caucuses he gamed the system. Plain and simple.

So while supporting Obama your friend was also supporting one of the more conservative Republicans in the race, but will back Obama over McCain? He may say that now, but when the right-wing slime machine, which so far has taken a hands-off approach to Obama, finishes sending Obama through the meat grinder, your pal will happily fall in line and back McCain.

sestamibi said...

Yes, you're right that caucuses have no down ticket contests. I should have made that distinction as I was referring specifically to primaries. I don't know what the primary/caucus state number of delegates to be elected breakdown from this point on is.

Mike said...

No, Carissa, Jon went to neither
caucuses!!! He plans to vote for
Obama in the general election.

As do countless Republicans that I know.

And, we now have proof this is for real:
Rasmussen poll (surveying NV voters):
McCain: 49%
Clinton: 40%

Obama: 50%
McCain: 38%

And, this Republican guy, like most of the tenants here, are very hip and familiar with the slime game of politics. They are amazingly briefed and aware. They know that Obama will be slimed, like he is now being by many Clinton supporters. And, the Clinton machine. "Hype", "Cult Messiah", "Talker, not a Doer", etc. etc. Oh...and some other beauts: "Cocaine User", etc.

carissa said...

Would you care to comment on the other part of my post? The reported intimidation of black super delegates?

I am glad your friend chose not to game the system. That is very honorable of him, but the fact of the matter is, other not-so-honorable Republicans have.

And one thing still doesn't make sense to me. Why would he be supporting two candidates from two parties at the same time?

I have heard far worse from Obama supporters about Hillary, as well as deathly silence from your candidate about the outright sexism spewing on the airwaves. When Jesse Jackson, Jr, following Hillary's NH win, said that the [Obama] campaign would have to "examine" her tears and then jumped to asking "why" Hillary didn't cry over Katrina (and he knows this how?), or poverty, and instead said she was crying "about her looks," which any fair-minded examination of the actual video shows nothing of the kind, but instead was an emotional moment where she choked up over what is happening in our country. I've certainly done my share of crying over what's happened to us over the last seven years. sometimes the magnitude of the damage Bush and his Boyz have done to us is too much to hold in.

When George Bush, or Mitt Romney or a star football player cry in public, they are sensitive. When a woman does it, she's weak. And when Hillary does it, it's calculated. Gawd.

When Hillary's supporters have gotten out of line, she's asked them to resign. Why is JJ, Jr still running the show?

And when the press jumped all over Biden about a supposedly "racist" remark, Obama came to his defense. But I see no identical action from him regarding the horrible things that have been said about Hillary and Bill. You and I both know that they are not racists. But no word to "chill" comes from Obama. Why? Because,it allows him to stay "above it all" and still reap the electoral benefit. Frankly, I find it disgusting.

Mike said...

Yes, Jesse, Jr. and the others there are acting like jerks. That's obvious. Barack is a gentleman. You know that. Or, if you don't, then I hope you get a chance to meet him soon.

Both Hillary and Barack, sitting together, have basicly rolled their eyes in shared moments of noting the overexuberant behavior of their surrogates. (Which includes you and me, lol!)

Besides Jon K. there was another guy from Sparks who also supported Romney and Obama at the same time!
All of us at Obama HQ were definitely scratching our heads over that one!!!! But, all the other volunteering Republicans down there were clear as a bell in their support for Obama.

Carissa we did not organize any gaming of the system. I was at Reno High School, where both parties caucused, and none of that happened there. Not a single caucus chair had to deal with that.

carissa said...

Mike, I am not saying the Obama campaign "organized" this. On the night of the Iowa caucus, a poster at RedState was crowing about changing his reg to Dem for the sole purpose of crashing the Dem caucus to cast a vote for Obama. He immediately went and changed his registration back. I got an email from a co-worker who indicated to me that he was a Republican but that maybe he would be a "Democrat for a Day." With the advent of viral emails, 24-hour news cycles, and the absolute hatred of Hillary on the right, and their willingness to use any tool in the box to get what they want (the White House), why do you put it past some (not ALL) Republicans with less scruples than your friend, to pull this crap?

Regarding your assertion that Republicans didn't game the system at Reno High. What clairvoyant abilities do you have that assures you of this?

You do recall the thugs of 2000 in Florida, don't you? That supposed mob of irate Floridians mobbing the counting area, trying to shut down the recounting of votes? Remember that? And do you recall who actually comprised this mob of irate Floridians? Republican staffers.

I put nothing past these people. Nothing.

Mike said...

Carissa, I spent 1 1/2 hours helping Republicans find their precincts!! I didn't see any of them join us.

The only unfamiliar folks at my precinct (with out of precinct addresses) WERE THE CLINTON FOLKS!
I let them sign in at my precinct anyway (despite the early time of their arrival). I knew most of the folks otherwise, by name or by face. I've been working my precinct (and three others) for two years now.

BTW, yes I am psychic. (As we all are....I just pay more attention to the cues that bubble up.)

Joe R said...

Rupurt Murdoch the owner of Fox News Channel and Kenneth Starr's Law firm are large donors to Hillary's Campaign.

You seriously believe they would rather run against Obama then Hillary?

Not Your Mama said...

I wanted time to think about this before I commented.

Mike said it best "this is disturbing and insulting all in one". Particularly coming from someone officially associated with the state party.

I truly hate being cross with someone I've enjoyed a cordial blogging relationship with but some things are just wrong at so many levels and this is one of those things.

It's convoluted and paranoid at best, coming from you it's completely appalling.

carissa said...

First of all, I am not officially associated with the state party. Have not been on staff since May. This is my personal blog, and do not hide my identity.

Second, I just got off the phone with a friend who told me that at the Republican caucus that was held at their high school it was announced that now that they were done, if they wanted to they could go down the hall and participate in the Democratic caucus to vote against Hillary. So regardless of what Mike thinks he knows, this stuff did happen.

And finally, do you not find it the least bit disturbing that Jesse Jackson, Jr. admits that he is applying pressure to black super delegates to support Barack merely because he has a shot at being the first black man in the White House, and that if they don't fall in line, are threatened with a primary challenge? Omigod, if Maggie Williams pulled the same thing on Hillary's behalf she would be pilloried and Hillary would be finished.

As always, one set of rules for Hillary, one set of rules for Barack.

Dave said...

Carissa, if Republicans are "crossing over", they could just as well be doing it to vote for Clinton, could they not? I think your beef is not with crossing over, it's with the candidate who happens to be appealing.

carissa said...

You've completely missed the point of my post. Do I think there are some Republicans that are changing parties because they've honestly gotten fed up with their party? Sure. And I know that some of them are supporting Hillary Clinton as well. I've seen that too.

My personal beef is that in the Democratic Presidential Primary season, our party has seen fit to allow the decision of our party to be diluted by people outside our party. The Republicans don't allow this, and this is the one area wherein I agree with them. I want members of our party to determine our nominee. Is that so hard to understand?

And yes, I do believe that there are a number of Rs crossing over just to vote against Hillary. There is too much evidence that this has happened in many states. Hillary supporters are calling into Wisconsin right now and one reported that she spoke to some Rs that were going to vote for Obama tomorrow and McCain in November. It is THOSE Republicans that have no intention of voting Democrat in November that I am speaking of.

There is no "fair play" with those people. There is only winning. And whatever it takes, even if it means being a "Democrat for a Day" well, it's worth it to them. They just laugh up their sleeves at our openness that they can exploit.

On the other hand, I would rather be boiled in oil than claim the name "Republican" for even a split second.

If a Republican wants to cross over to vote in our primaries and caucuses, let them do it according to the laws of this state, which says you have to register 4 weeks prior to the date of casting your ballot.

JOhn said...

Do you know why Barack won Northern Nevada? We had a secret weapon... a sleeper cell if you will. Her name is Pam DuPre. Please tell me that she is going to represent your side at the county convention.