Chit-chat at the Clothesline

May 06, 2008 by barbara

barbara and Susan write

(check back as this illuminating exchange grows over the course of the day)

UPDATED: 10:00 pm CDT. Booyah!

barbara says: Hullo, Susan and CLBers. Looks as though spring has finally made its way to MN. For this week, anyway. Booyah! The birdies are ecstatic and so are we. We ate dinner on the deck last night for the first time in 2008. A nice ending to a long day. Showed up at the oncologist’s office at 8:00 a.m. and didn’t get out of there until after 4:00. Crikey.

Found myself tilting southeast this morning. Oh, yeah. The primaries. Hey, everyone know Indiana and North Carolina are having primaries today? Just thought I’d mention it, in case. Predictions, Ms. Susan?

Susan says: Wait, we go from ecstatic to this? To the primaries? This is like going from May in MN back to March. But, as long as you asked, it ain't pretty. (You know the day is off to a bad start when you're agreeing with David Brooks. Read on, Macduff.

So anyway, I forecast this: Hillary, by becoming a daughter of the downtrodden who knows how hard it is to fill a gas tank, will win in Indiana, by a lot. Many reasons for that, beyond the pandering, including fear of the unknown. It's said in child protection cases that children almost always prefer to stay with their own mom, no matter how derelict or abusive she is, because she's the only mom they know.

So it's something like that. They'll go into into the booth and they'll look at both names and they don't really know this new guy, and he's with that wacky reverend and he thinks he's so smart, but he's really an elitist, but they've known Hillary like forever, in so many forms, and things were pretty darn good under Clinton and who wants change, really, and blammy, another vote for Billary.

Besides, Indiana is a very god-fearin' red blood sort of place, (hey, I was born there) and nobody named Hussein's gonna be my commander-in-chief. Never mind that it was his Christian minister who brought him down.

Barack will win in NC, but not by as much as he should, leaving an opening for Bill Clinton to remind us about how well Jesse Jackson also did there.

Hillary will emerge with big momentum tonight. What that gets us, I have no idea, other than another month of political hell.

And it's starting to rain.

barbara says: Grey, rainy, temp dropping like Newton's apple. Poop.

So, uh, Susan, do I infer that you think Mrs. Clinton doesn't genuinely feel the pain of the little people? It's a kind of Saul on the road to Damascus thingie, see? Yet another of her amazing conversion experiences. Shotgun in one hand, shot glass in the other, blood-shot eyes and shooting off her mouth.

So about the primary thingie? Fearless prognosticator says Mrs. Clinton by 8% in Indiana (what’re you Hoosiers thinking?) and Obama by 7% in NC. Meanwhile, Americans keep on a-losing. Did I mention that Mrs. Clinton scares the bejeebers out of me? Parents, it’s 3:00 in the morning. Who do you want tucking your child in after a nightmare? Just askin’.

susan says: Gutsy, Ms. Barb, putting in the numbers. I think it's going to be -- worse, at least in Indiana. Double digits. As for Ms. Clinton, I don't find her scary. I don't even think she'd be that bad at answering the phone at 3 a.m. because know what? She doesn't mean anything she says. She won't really obliterate Iran. She is saying whatever she needs to say to beat back a man who she feels stole her shot at the top, even dismissing her chief drum-beater, Paul Krugman, as a pin-head bean counter. On most of her actual policies, she's not that bad. It's that she's morphed into a monster as this campaign goes on.

It's true that Barack has wilted, who wouldn't, but he hasn't morphed through 18 personae. (Okay, personas, sorry for the elitie thing.) And yet, there's this little part of me that says she'd probably wilt McCain too, if I'm willing to turn my back on all of this and just let it play out in its hideous dispiriting way. President Clinton?? President McCain?? Try 'em both out. And for added fun, check out John McErmine's views on judicial appointments.

barbara says: Just sent this summary to others:

(1) Mrs. Clinton scares me.

(2) Mrs. Clinton is ruthless. (Have you seen Ruth? No, you have not.)

(3) Mrs. Clinton is going to figure out how to win this thing by fair means or foul. Has exhausted all fair means.

(4) Mr. Obama is reminding me WAY too much of John Kerry lately.

(5) Mr. Obama needs not to become testosteronic but simply decisive and leaderly.

(6) Mrs. Clinton scares me. A lot.

BREAKING!! 8:40 p.m.
susan says:
Susan is wrong! Not the first time. Just tuned in to Obama's speech in NC, and the pundits are oohing over how much different this speech was, that his confidence is back, and yet . . . it's not over. And Barack is doing far better in Indiana than I called it. "This was a super delegate speech." says Wolf/Candy. And now, waiting for Hillary to -- say she won? Stay tuned.

barbara says: Just finished a very late dinner. Trying to decide whether I dare take a look at the primary numbers. Oh, sure, why not. Hang on a sec.................

....Wow! With 85% reporting in IN, Obama trails by a scant 4%. Win, lose or draw, this is very bad news for Hillary. And in NC with 78% reporting, Obama leads by 14%. All good news for Obama.

Haven't heard the speech yet, but will look for it.

The baaaad news is that this will push Hillary to the wall and I believe she will come out swinging for the proverbial fence (hardly an original insight, but one deeply believed).

Did I mention that Hillary scares me?

susan says: Grrrr. I'm watching Hillary now, and -- not liking her. And seems to me that Bill's big red mug behind her does her no favors. Doesn't she want to have him keep his distance? All of CNN is sitting there saying that she's one step closer to being out, and then she steps up and says, "tonight was the tie-breaker, and guess what, I won?"

And if she mentions the f-ing gas tank one more time . . . Grrrrr. Okay, she just did, never mind. If she manages to wrangle this one away from Obama by some Florida/Michigan swap out, and I'm faced with voting for her or John McCain come November . . . . Well, know what, I'll do it. Maybe it's like clapping for Tinkerbell and we'll get the real Hillary back once she wins, and I do believe that there is a real Hillary still in there. Somewhere.

barbara says: If . . . IF . . . Obama succeeds in defeating the Clinton machine (her victorious May 6 results notwithstanding) and becomes the endorsed Dem candidate for POTUS, my first advice to him would be, "Watch your back." Because I have little doubt that what has been going on the past months will go away any time soon. Hell hath no fury like Billary scorned. She absolutely cannot be a team player. It is ALL about Hillary ALL the time. She has taken the feminist mantle and sewed it into combat fatigues. Grrr back atcha, girl. She is one scary critter.

Posted in


leftymn (not verified) | May 7, 2008 - 6:59am

I haven't read much on last night's results, but I was surprised that Indiana was so close. I suspect that the Obama team did a very good get out the vote effort. Exit polling shows that if you remove the over 65 year old vote that Obama did evenly or even better among white voters in all classes and genders. He does especially well in the under 45 yr group.


DKNY (not verified) | May 7, 2008 - 11:20am

Grrr back atcha, Babs. You're gettin' to be kind of a scary critter yourself! Maybe a little projection here?
Seriously, your guy'll be "it' sometime soon, and we Hillaryites will have to drag our sorry asses to the polls and vote for him. Take a page from Obama's book, please, and no more gratuitous "horrible Hillary" comments. It will only make it harder, and for some impossible, to fall in line, if not in love, with Obama.


paul miller (not verified) | May 7, 2008 - 12:41pm

Today I saw a great editorial written in grime on the back of a car: "McCain is a McNut" and on the other side of the back windw: "War Monger". Huff Post headline says "Obama vs. McCain". Now we can focus on the real issues i.e. McBushism (gas is up 20 cents today, Bush is ranting about his tax cuts for the wealthy, Pickles is stewing about Burma and Georgie Boy invented a limestone hopa for Jenna's nutptials - just another day in paradise)


susan | May 7, 2008 - 1:37pm

Yep, it's time to move on. And I agree with DKNY that we now need to get past the Grrrs and the Scary talk and beat McNut.
Once I saw how the numbers were turning out last night (after being dead wrong about them) and realized that Hillary was not being delusional in her speech, but doing the very tough thing you have to do after you know you've fallen short, my anger evaporated. Especially when David Gergen -- who I thought brought some much-welcome sobriety to the twittering at CNN -- said he could see it all in Chelsea's face, that her heart was broken.
Sorry to let my fellow CLBer's down, but in the end, I feel sorry for her. She is human and she's hurting and this has to be a colossal disappointment for her. Well, we know it is by the way she -- fought. In the name of peace, I'll leave it at that. btw, Jim once ran for city council and lost by a hair. I was his campaign manager, and for weeks I felt terrible that we'd let down all the people who'd worked so hard for us. Imagine what she must be feeling.

I think we all know that it's over. And now, we have to make sure that we're prepared for the campaign of a lifetime, and that means no more, um, sniping at Hillary. Unless she pulls a heist of some sort with Michigan and Florida, then all deals are off. And DKNY, I'm sorry. I know how you feel, but she was really freaking me out with the NASCAR and gas tax thing. But I'll lay off now.


MLS (not verified) | May 7, 2008 - 5:09pm

Umm, what's the saying, "All's fair in love and war." I have been quiet on my feelings about Hillary having initially supported John Edwards and then choosing Barack Obama. I need not say more. It is good to see this Democratic battle (for lack of a better word) nearing an end. Whatever we do from this point forward we will be united so that in November our candidate will be elected and the 8 years of infamy ended.


Peggy (not verified) | May 7, 2008 - 8:32pm

Saw a great bumper sticker yesterday....



barbara says (not verified) | May 8, 2008 - 7:17am


You're probably right.


barbara says (not verified) | May 8, 2008 - 10:54am

In today's USA Today, Hillary speaks:

"I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on," she said in an interview with USA TODAY. As evidence, Clinton cited an Associated Press article "that found how Sen. Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me."


susan | May 8, 2008 - 11:09am

To me the horrible truth is that Hillary may be right. Obama's squeaking by in those demographics against another Dem. Just wait til he's facing an affable-seeming war hero. George Will says Obama's the new Reagan, without the ideology (got a problem with that George?), and yet last night on Jon Stewart (who's gotten totally squishy, unfunny and dull of late, and if he has McCain on one more time . . . ) John "Ermine" McCain seemed very Reagan-esqe. Maybe it's just the age thing, but he also seems sort of a-political and benign, though we know better. Stewart's one good line was asking him if he planned to disavow George Bush, because Americans have a lower opinion of him than they do of Rev. Wright. But do not underestimate the appeal of this guy come fall. And again, DKNY is right, we do need to have Hillary backers fall in line -- and btw, many of them are terrific and smart people who just do not see the Obama magic -- so we need to tread carefully, I think, lest we continue the self-inflicted wounds.


barbara says (not verified) | May 8, 2008 - 12:49pm

I give up.


leftover vodka (not verified) | May 8, 2008 - 6:09pm

Bill Clinton won twice without a large part of the white blue collar vote, Al Gore won once without it, and John Kerry nearly won without it

Take out the African American demographics and new energized under 35 voters and Hillary Clinton will not win, because in states where blue collar whites dominate like Indiana and Kentucky and Texas she wont win anyway.

the math is simple, a Dem needs to win all the states Kerry won and then win Virginia and Iowa or Virginia and New Mexico ; or forget Virginia and go for New Mexico, colorado and Iowa instead. all of these states and new Hampshire a ripe for the picking. As are Nevada and Missouri. Obama wins the Nomination and picks Richardson as his VP and Richardson spends his entire time only in New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada.

Enough despair,,, St John McSame is likely to have a meltdown anger moment between now and November which will doom his candidacy.

Winning Ohio and Florida is simply not possible as in those states , it is not the votes, but who counts them that matters.


susan | May 8, 2008 - 10:54pm

Um, I didn't mean I'm going over to Hillary, I just meant to say that once we have her out of the race, which is now (despite what she says), that we ought not gloat cause we gotta beat the stoat.

And apparently I run in the demographic clump that tilts to Hillary, and I don't mean the white blue collar clump, and they are not enraged feminazis, they're good people. I totally disagree with them, but I want them to come over to our side sooner rather than later. So it makes no sense to keep beating on Hillary now that she's almost a memory. (Who I suspect will be back in 2012, no matter what.)

When Hil was gaining momentum and Barack was having his Rev. Wright moment, all I could think was that I would ultimately have to vote for her, but I'd NEVER campaign for her. And nothing backed me off faster than my Hillary friends saying things like, "Glad you're finally starting to see that he's an empty suit." So, I'm just sayin', let's do what we can to be nice.

And, leftover vodka, I didn't mean to sound full of despair, at least not yesterday. The day before, guilty as charged. I'm revived and hopeful.

And Barb, don't give up cause I drive you nuts flippin' and floppin'. That's what linen does on the clothesline, no? I'm just worrying out loud. I suppose I should formulate my thoughts into a well-written narrative with a solid conclusion, 600 words, and post that, but seems to me blogs are more of a conversation. That said, I'm not very good at it.


DKNY (not verified) | May 9, 2008 - 11:53am

Anyone read Krugman today? Sounds like he's been reading "Clothesline".


susan | May 9, 2008 - 10:33pm

Yep, that's how Krugman starts his day, at the Clothesline!

Here's part of what he wrote:

"More tirades from Obama supporters against Mrs. Clinton are not the answer — they will only further alienate her grass-roots supporters, many of whom feel that she received a raw deal.
Nor is it helpful to insult the groups that supported Mrs. Clinton, either by suggesting that racism was their only motivation or by minimizing their importance."

Okay, fair enough, that's what he picked up at the Clothesline. But how about some advice to her. If she wants to stay in it until Obama tips over the magical number -- which is about to happen with the super delegates going his way -- that's her right. She's no quitter, we know that. But how about she go out with glory and grace, touting her own acheivments and not tearing down his? Well, maybe that's just too damn hard. She must be devastated, but still . . .

Krugman ends with this:
"The point is that Mr. Obama has an extraordinary opportunity in this year’s election. He should do everything possible to avoid squandering it."

Well, yes, he should. More to the point, so should Hillary.


DKNY (not verified) | May 10, 2008 - 5:02pm

NYTimes today* reports that Hillary has softened up, regrets her USA Today "I got the white guy vote" comments, and her campaign strategy for the short remainder of this primary is to tout her accomplishments and not tear down his. Tone is more conciliatory. So you see, she reads the Clothesline too.

NYT, May 10, 2008, "For First Time, More Superdelegates Favor Obama" - John Broder.