impressive win

Last night’s win proved that this year that there is a lot of energy and not just to turn out the current disastrous government. It’s apparent that there is a much more widespread belief in the connection between the act of voting and one’s choices for the future than there has been in quite a while.
The numbers break down as they break down and there will be a lot of discussion and blather about what they mean. I’ve got a few thoughts to blather about, but I’ll put that on hold because of the much bigger story.
The turnout, the actual height of the wave, is the thing to look at and the numbers posted are eye-popping.
Via AP:

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, more than 532,000 votes had been tabulated in Barack Obama’s commanding victory here. The returns easily eclipsed the 280,000 people who voted in the Democratic primary in 2004.

The win was impressive because of both the way in which the campaign was conducted and the success of an on the ground get out the vote effort.
Via WaPo:

South Carolina political veterans said Obama’s ground organization was one of the best they had seen, consisting of 9,000 volunteers and nearly 150 voting-day staging areas. His operation overlooked no potential source of votes.

Most significantly, Obama virtually swept the African American vote despite rejecting typical tactics deployed in the South; aides said they hadn’t paid “street money” to local leaders and community organizers to get people to the polls. Obama campaign officials had bragged about bucking this long-entrenched system, but they weren’t certain until Saturday whether it would work.

That portends a real possibility not just for a change of leadership, but also for a change in the way business is done in politics. One of the dynamics that happens when you have such traditional low voter turnout is that when there is a revitalization of participation the effect can be dramatic – or seemingly so to those who’ve been observing, say, the ebb and flow of the 5 to 10 percent of likely voters who are swayable for the past 20 years.

That’s why this election is different than 1992. This isn’t about winning over Reagan Democrats. There are no Reagan Democrats left. This is about turning out another 10 to 15 percent of the voting populace to the polls on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. When you look at the waves of new voters and re-energized traditional voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and, now, South Carolina you stop thinking waves and start thinking tide.

The election of 2008 has the potential to shake the current electoral structure to its roots.

S.C. prediction

update: Looks like Obama won’t have to worry too much about anyone calling it close.

My prediction is:
– Clinton’s history and experience campaigning and organizing in the state of South Carolina has been underestimated;
– That anywhere near a close win will be seen as a loss for Obama;
– That the pundits will dismiss Edwards saying he didn’t even do well in his own state

Sorry if that upsets you, but that’s the way I think it’ll go down.


The man who ruled my childhood, dead at 82.

Via WaPo:

Richard Knerr, co-founder of the toy company that popularized the Hula Hoop, Frisbee and other fads that became classics, has died. He was 82.

Knerr, who started Wham-O in 1948 with his childhood friend Arthur “Spud” Melin, died Monday at Methodist Hospital after suffering a stroke earlier in the day at his Arcadia home, his wife Dorothy told the Los Angeles Times.


Regular readers of that DFH, Atrios and his ilk will find it unsurprising that the economy is tanking.
Others are juhhhhst now coming around to it:


Another exciting day on Wall Street.

What was weird watching CNBC today is that it sounded like all of the things that doom and gloomers like me have been talking about (housing crash matters and is going to get worse, bond insurers are going to go tits up causing broader financial system problems, it isn’t a credit crunch problem but a solvency problem, etc…) are finally sinkning in for all of the financial bobbleheads.

I don’t make predictions about the stock market because, well, what do I know, but the degree of optimism from supposed experts over the past year about the broader economy has been somewhat amusing. I think today’s the day it died.

If you’d like that with numbers and a chart go here.

Lynching is not funny

Let’s see, he says that maybe not so many people will turn out to review a government action next time if there’s a lynching and only some people want him to resign? And there’s a council member that didn’t think he meant any harm by making a lynching joke. Then there’s the ‘Oh gosh this might upset the antique trade’ comment.
Clueless, racist or both?

Some residents are calling for the mayor of Selma to resign after he made a comment about a lynching at a town meeting — a comment the mayor says was only an unthinking joke.

Mayor Charles Hester opened a public hearing on Tuesday night by saying that he did not expect so many people to be there. He followed with the comment: “Maybe one day we’ll have a lynching, and we won’t have to worry about that anymore.”



Spent a little time on the phone with Michael Tomasky and Bruce Fein who are coming to Carrboro to debate the impeachment of the president and vice president. Nice chat with each. Tomasky, who was covering the NH primary, was very straight up about the political reality. Fein doesn’t want to see the administration get away with it and made a heck of an analysis of the global and local consequences.
Should be a swell time. Here’s the story from The Citizen with the time and location:

Citizens take note! Historic debate at Century Center

By Kirk Ross
Staff Writer

They’re promising an old-fashioned political debate in the spirit of the famed Lincoln-Douglas matches. But for Al McSurley, John Heuer and other members of the local Coalition for the Constitution, which is sponsoring the event scheduled for next Tuesday at the Century Center, the stakes are somewhat higher than who will be the next senator from Illinois.

The title of this one is “On the Question of Impeachment,” and in addition to the all-American bunting Heuer and McSurely plan to hang a banner reminding those gathered that they’re sitting in the cradle of impeachment.
The “convenor” for this debate is County Commissioner Moses Carey and moderating will be professor Hodding Carter III. While an elected dignitary and a professor may seem about right in their roles, the actual debaters might surprise you a bit. Arguing for impeachment is Republican Bruce Fein, a former justice department lawyer who was research director for the congressional inquiry into the Iran-Contra scandal and recently served on the American Bar Association’s task force on presidential signing statements.

Read more