March 3, 2008

McCain’s Gift, Hillary’s Money Crunch, Your March 4th Predictions, and More!

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With prelims just around the corner I’d have to say that sitting down to write this can easily be called academic suicide. That said, the news this week is just too exciting to ignore and hence, these are my thoughts:

1. The luck of John McCain– The old and battle-tested senator from Arizona got a free gift from the New York Times this week when The Times published an article accusing McCain of sleeping with a young female lobbyist. Normally, this would devastate the accused but it seems to have benefited McCain in a significant way. How so? First, The Times’ editors seem to be the only ones taking heat since they decided to run the article with little factual evidence to back it up. Secondly, McCain has finally[img_assist|nid=28408|title=Barack Obama and John McCain: Potential Match-up?|desc=|link=node|align=right|width=|height=0] rallied conservatives behind him, spinning the article as a “smear job” by the liberal media (and boy do conservatives hate that). Third, The Times went for the big headline by throwing in the sex scandal but didn’t emphasize the “beef” of the story- that McCain has a bunch of lobbyists helping run his campaign. Had they focused the latter, things would have been much worse for McCain since that story is actually well founded and much more serious allegation for a presidential candidate. All in all, big win for Johnny.
Potential match-up? We’ll know soon enough

2. Hillary loves spending the dough – Frank Rich took Hillary to task on Sunday for the wild spending she’s been doing this election season. For example, Hillary’s campaign racked up $100,000 in grocery charges in Iowa and spent $25,000 at the Bellagio Hotel in Nevada. Now, this is all a bit unfair since the other campaigns can probably be cited for similar abuses, but this kind of publicity must sting pretty bad as the campaign nears collapse.
3. Chris Dodd endorses Obama– This endorsement is small in scale but big in significance as Dodd’s endorsement was the first for either Hillary or Obama from any of the former major Democratic presidential candidates. I think this will lead other former candidates to declare their “PrObama-ness” for precisely the same reason that Dodd did- to end this primary before its length ends up hurting the party. Dodd made this clear when he said,I don’t want a campaign that is divisive here…now is the hour to come together.”
4. Predictions for Tuesday?– The four states voting are Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont. Use the comment field below to place your predictions! My guess is as good as yours but here’s what I think:

Texas: Hillary 45% Obama 54%
Rhode Island: Hillary 60% Obama 40%
Ohio: Hillary 56% Obama 44%
Vermont Hillary 43% Obama 57%