Saturday, December 15, 2007


Well, now, that was a refreshing five hours of sleep. Shows what you can accomplish when you have a cat for a furry alarm clock. I do so enjoy having my face sat upon before the sun comes up.

A few hours ago we left off with the "religious Right" opting to stay in the GOP and fight for the imposition of their pious populist, former Arkansas Governor Mike Up-Huck, and his Donk-lite nannyism upon the rest of the Republican Party, and the dismaying success they appear to be having in the propulsion of this "flavor of the month" tomato can to the upper tier of its presidential race. Huckles couldn't beat Hillary with a sledghammer and her blindfolded (as well as bound and gagged), but he's got the one thing going for him that is immensely difficult to overcome: he's peaking at just the right time. His past affinity for rationing of political speech not withstanding, of course. (And yes, at the risk of dissuading an actual posted comment, I know our guy supported McCain-Feingold).

Intriguingly, if only in an academic sense, you would never guess in a zillion turns who is occupying the other end of the timing spectrum:
Barack Obama has chipped away at Hillary Clinton’s lead in New Hampshire, and the two Democratic presidential hopefuls are now locked in a statistical tie less than one month before the first-in-the-nation primary, a CNN/WMUR Poll released Wednesday shows.

Clinton has dropped 5% points since the CNN/WMUR November survey, while Obama has gained 8% points, according to the poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. Clinton is now at 31% to Obama’s 30%.
Of course, that's only one poll, and CNN is as reliable as the US Postal Service. They want Hillary to win, but not like the New England Patriots are winning this season, blowing every team out by fifty points en route to an undefeated season and another Super Bowl crown. They want something interesting to cover on the way to the Empress' coronation. They want a horse race, even if they have to manufacture one out of whole cloth, or even burlap. And what better way to do both than to portray a "crisis" for the Clinton Machine out of which they can tell the story of her gritty and courageous "comeback" when she starts inexorably grinding out one primary victory after another? Indeed, what better way to reward Senator Obama with the vice presidency for "battle-testing" Mrs. Clinton and "preparing" her for the "onslaught" of the "Republican attack machine"?

The above sentiment is by no means limited to CNN, of course. But neither is the polling showing the Donk race tightening - here and there, at least:

NATIONAL: Hillary by 22

IOWA: Obama by 3

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Hillary by 3

MICHIGAN: Hillary by 31 (as of the most recent {mid-November} Detroit News poll, which I believe was pre-Philadelphia)

NEVADA: Hillary by 17

SOUTH CAROLINA: Hillary by 2

FLORIDA: Hillary by 30

CALIFORNIA: Hillary by 25

PENNSYLVANIA: Hillary by 28

NEW JERSEY: Hillary by 34

So what does the above mean? For all the wishful hyperventilation from some, er, quarters about Mrs. Clinton's "collapse" and wildly implausible speculation about an Obama nomination's potential to "change the tone" (Where have I heard THAT phrase before?) of the 2008 campaign, I see the Generalissimo with the Denobulan grin frantically exploiting her Nib's breathtakingly candid drivers-licenses-for-illegal-aliens pirhouetting to employ Romney's "win early" strategy. The Illinois default senator wants to try and pull a "reverse-Kerry" by convincing Dem voters to NOT go with the most electable general election candidate and gamble on a dubious long shot instead. With the uncharacteristically generous assistance of either (depending upon how you look at it) a clumsily hamfisted or hair-trigger panicky bit of very characteristic low-ball scandalmongering, the Clintonoids appear to be helping Obama along, perhaps out of genuine concern, or more likely to cure the boredom of their mistress' inevitability and get the ol' "war room" blood flowing again by shedding some of their rival's.

Are they outsmarting themselves, or drowning in their own complacency? C'mon, folks, these are the CLINTONS we're talking about. If nobody ever tugs on Superman's cape, he's gonna, um, tug on it himself just to keep himself awake. But he's still Superman. And Hillary is still the next president of the United States - especially if our side goes through with its evident determination to commit "Huckacide."

So how do both sets of primaries ultimately shake out? Reading current trends (which only matter on the Republican side), my crystal ball (currently) reads thusly:

Huckabee wins Iowa, cementing his usurpation of Fred Thompson's rightful upper tier spot. But Romney follows through and wins New Hampshire, creating Hugh Hewitt's beloved "two-man race," with Giuliani's last stand coming not in Florida, where he now trails, but in Michigan, where all three are tied. If Rudy wins there, it's a triple-threat fight; otherwise, with South Carolina and Florida tending in his direction, it starts looking more and more like the Huckster's nomination to lose.

The Dems? You have to ask? Hillary narrowly falls to Obama in Iowa, pulls out New Hampshire, the "Comeback Kid II" is born, and the coronational processional resumes.

And to think we have Reagan with a twang right smack in front of us, and are rushing past him to genuflect before that gaunt Elmer Gantry instead.

I guess that clinches the return of burnings at the stake a year from now....