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Hillary Supporters for McCain?

25 August 2008

What’s wrong with the media? They read things in polls that may not really be there.

I’m back after a brief pause to enjoy the Olympics. Go USA! It has helped clear my head a bit. I realized just before that much needed break that I was losing my sense of humor about how things were going, and that’s no fun for me or for you. So, I’m back now.

First let me say that I was thrilled with the selection of Joe Biden as Barack Obama’s running mate. Once again Obama has shown his wisdom and just plain old good sense. And I think we as liberals and/or Democrats can take great comfort in the fact that the McCain/Republican attack campaign came out full swing after the announcement, first dragging out statements made by opponent Biden in the primaries – Big Deal! – and then playing all sad for Hillary Clinton’s slight at the hands of the Obama campaign for not selecting her as his running mate. How touching that the Republicans feel Senator Clinton’s pain so deeply and sympathetically. It’s almost enough to make you forget that a Rovian is running the show over at camp McCain, but not quite.

This morning on Morning Joe we were treated to Pat Buchanan’s further heart-felt support for Senator Clinton as he pointed out what a big mistake it was to have passed her over. I am reminded of another Republican TV operative four years ago, Bob Novak, affectionately called the Prince of Darkness by his journalistic colleagues, singing the praises of John Kerry and complimenting Democrats for their wisdom in selecting him as their standard bearer. I immediately knew we were in trouble when Novak smiled his Grinch-like smile and saluted our choice. And no sooner were my antennae raised than the Swift Boaters crawled like cockroaches out of the baseboards and swarmed all over the unsuspecting Kerry. We all know how that turned out. If we believe for a moment that Pat Buchanan is feeling generous towards the Democrats and is offering his best advice for us, then he’s got a bridge for us to buy. Beware of arch conservatives bearing advice!

The big news of the day, however, was an interesting poll that indicated that 27% of Hillary Clinton supporters indicated that they would vote for McCain. The pundits were all over this, once again asking their favorite question this season: What’s wrong with Barack Obama? They went on to say that this number represented 10% of the electorate. It was another hand-wringing moment for us Democrats. But wait just a minute! Let’s look at those numbers a little more critically. While that number represented an increase over the past month from 16% of Clinton supporters that claimed this bizarre support of the pro-life, pro-Bush economic program McCain, it did not result in a very big change in McCain’s poll numbers. That makes these supporters look like phantoms. Could it be that people are not being absolutely honest about being Clinton supporters when reached by pollsters? Rush Limbaugh planted that idea very aggressively during the primaries. I would love to stab at McCain if a pollster called me by claiming to be a former McCain supporter that was so turned off by his negative, slimy tactics of late that I was now supporting Obama. That would be untrue, but it doesn’t keep me from wanting to do it anyway.

Good, common, mathematical sense dictates that if there’s this massive slide among former Clinton supporters toward McCain, that one of two things should be happening. Either McCain’s numbers should be climbing precipitously, or he is losing other supporters at the same time he is picking up the Clinton voters. My educated eye doesn’t see either of these things happening. The race remains tight, but Obama still stays ahead of McCain in poll after poll. The hoopla that the media is selling us about this stunning lack of support by voters who only have things to lose by voting for four more years of Bush policies and Supreme Court picks looks like just another hyped-up ratings grabbing tactic. As the old lady asked many years ago in the Wendy’s commercial: Where’s the beef? There is no beef. It’s a bread sandwich.

So my message today is: be of good cheer fellow soldiers in the war against untruth in the media and the well-oiled/greased Republican attack machine. We’re still ahead, and now we have an attack dog in Biden who will take it to the other side. Things are looking up. That is, unless I’m all wrong and the Hillary brigade releases a big stink bomb in the next few days in Denver, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. Hang in there!

Left-eyed Jack.

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