Category Archives: hillary clinton

>INSIGHT: Obama’s Cabinet — God help America!!

>A number of people have suggested that Barack Obama can assuage some of the concerns about his incompetency to be President by revealing the names of his Cabinet. (Ooops! I think I was supposed to say “inexperience.” Same thing, just sounds better.)

Since it appears he is not going to take that advice, I thought I would help him out and leak some the names of his likely Cabinet members. Keep in mind, Obama comes from the Chicago School of politics, which means he will look to his closest friends and family to dole out the spoils of victory. This will not be easy for poor old Obama since there are only of few Cabinet positions, and he has a lot of cronies to reward. Also, some folks are multi-talented and could be logical picks for more than one post. But let’s give it a go.

First, there is Obama’s pal, William Ayers. He could serve in a number of positions. Of course, he could be a good choice for Attorney General. Having avoided the criminal justice system on murder charges due to some technicality, he can well appreciate the plight of criminals. I am sure he would do a lot to alleviate jail overcrowding – especially by pot heads and terrorists. In fact, he would make the entire Gitmo problem go away immediately by releasing all the inmates to go back to the Middle East, where these can resume their careers.

Then I am thinking … Ayres has spent more recent years introducing left wing, anti capitalism indoctrination into the curriculum of our public schools by teaching teachers to be radical activists in the classroom. He is currently terrorist-in-residence at the University of Chicago. This could land him as Secretary of Education.

Of course, as a former terrorist, who makes no apologies for his deadly rampaging in the 1960s, he is a natural for the head of Homeland Security. This is sort of a fight fire with fire appointment. Who can know the mind of a terrorist better than … a terrorist? So, Home Security it is.

We should not discount Ayers’ wife and fellow radical, who did do time for killing a few people. Of course, she claims that any bomb she does not personally detonate doesn’t count. Not sure how the dead feel about that. At any rate, Bernadette Dorn, is not only out of prison, but is a respected professor of law at Northwestern University. This could give her a shot at any of the three offices I mention for her hubby. Think about it. If he gets Home Security and she gets to be Attorney General, they could be Obama’s most prolific agents of change – with more impact than all the bombs they blew off in their days of rage. So, seems like AG is the spot for her.

Moving on … (no pun intended) … there is George Soros, the Hungarian gazillionaire who is spending a chunk of his fortune on left wing proselytizing through such groups as moveon.org and what I like to call (hot) Air America, the radio voice of socialism — not to mention the money he pours into independent campaign expenditures trying to get Obama in the Oval Office. Usually these types of money bags wind up as Secretary of the Treasury or Secretary of Commerce. But, I think he would be the perfect guy to head the Federal Reserve Bank, where he can continue their trend toward a controlled economy. On the other hand, he may demand the Treasury job where he can get control of all the mortgage bailout money being donated by Congress on behalf of the taxpayers. (I know this is not one of the official Cabinet positions, but if Obama tried to exclude him from Cabinet meetings, he would just stomp off and buy the Congress — in which he already has a fifty percent stake.)

In attempting to resolve conflicting ambitions, Obama would likely give the Secretary of the Treasury job to Alex Giannoulias. He is currently the very young Illinois State Treasurer. See, he’s already a treasurer. Also, he has had a lot of experience helping his daddy run a bank that provided much needed money for down and out mobsters and high clout customers. If this is not enough to qualify him to head the Department of the Treasury, bear in mind he and Obama are long time pick-up basketball buddies.

For Secretary of Commerce, I see the frontrunner to be Jim Johnson, the former head of Fannie Mae. He is an Obama confidante, and even headed the search committee that brought Joe Biden the vice presidential nomination. Since housing and credit are the central issues in the business world today, who can be better suited to the job than the guy who saw the crumbling of the American economy from the inside. Even though Fannie Mae had to be bailed out as part of the biggest taxpayer financial rescue in American history, I am sure Johnson did a good job. Why else would they give him a $20 million severance package when he resigned?

For some reason the word “godfather” just popped into my head … and that reminded me of outgoing Illlinois State Senate President Emil Jones, who is widely recognized as Obama’s political godfather — and a guy how never saw a reform he liked. (Godfather? Hmmmmm. Now that I think about it. Put Jones in a tux and he does conjure up the image of a black Marlon Brando – even the gravelly voice. But, I digress.) If Obama can talk Jones out of spending his retirement years as the Ambassador to Jamaica or Aruba, he could be the odds-on favorite for one of the welfare posts – Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (think food stamps). My inside information has it as HUD, because he has a lot of friends, like Tony Rezko, who know how to do the public housing real estate deals. Hmmmm. But they are also good at hospital licensing. NO. (Oh! Scratch Rezko. He’s going to jail. But there is no end of other influence peddlers Jones can look to for project management.)

Jones could be pushed aside if Franklin Raines, formerly of Fannie Mae, wants the job. He knows housing. Not only did he get paid more than $90 million dollars while presiding over the collapse of the housing market, but he knows how to negotiate a good loan. He was able to obtain millions of dollars in personal loans in what are being called “sweetheart deals.” If Obama wants experience to go with loyalty, this is the guy – and he’s a brother. While he is under federal investigation, I think Obama can put him in the ceremonial job of Treasurer of the United States. Having skimmed almost $100 million from the taxpayers, he SHOULD have his name on the money. He thinks it is all his anyway. (Again, not an official Cabinet position, but who would tell a guy with such audacity to get out of the meeting?)

I think Veteran Affairs is a slam dunk for Massachusetts Senator John Kerry. He has an ability to understand, and take, both sides of an issue. He boasts of his active duty combat experience in Vietnam (okay, some dubious claims), but he returned to America and gained attention for ratting out his follow soldiers for a massacring innocent civilians. I know his stories turned out to be bit … shall we say … counter accurate, but any one can make a mistake. (You will recall Hillary once mistook a bouquet of flowers from a 12-year-old girl as bullets from a band of terrorist.) More recently, Kerry has become an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq, which he voted to start and supported the funding. Given Obama’s get-out-at-any-cost policy, Kerry is a natural to handle the return of the troops.

While so-called organized labor (unions) controls only about 8 percent of the work force (and declining), they do control the Democrat party and the Obama-Biden team. This means a small group of union heads will name the next Secretary of Labor – saving Obama the problem if vetting anyone he might otherwise wish to choose. Given the labor leaders’ presumption of the right to name the secretary in Democrat administrations, we should call it the Department of Organized Labor. Well, I see this going to Jimmy Hoffa – the one that has not gone missing. He’s broke with his GOP friends to support Obama, and as head of the Teamsters, he has a lot of members Obama should want to keep happy. Nothing worse than an angry trucker.

Health and Human Services maybe the most humanitarian Cabinet post. I say it goes to Oprah Winfrey. The issues handled by HHS reads like a schedule of her upcoming shows. Of course, she maybe not want to take the downgrade from her show. I mean, what Secretary of HHS is remotely as popular as her – and as well paid? If she declines, I put my money on Dr. Phil or Dr. Oz.

Another easy call is Secretary of Energy. This is one confirmation away for Al Gore. From this position, he can reduce American man-made carbon emissions to levels not seen since the Jurrasic Era (because mankind was not around. Duh!). He will reduce our bio fuel dependency by developing such innovative resources as flatulence fuel. His Oscar and Nobel prizes will look great on his credenza, although not so easy to see in his dimly lite office. He will become the national spokesperson for the new “dim bulb” policy.

Then there is the Department of the Interior. Since no one has any idea what this agency does, and since every Cabinet needs to be bipartisan, this is where Obama buries the sole Republican. Who would that be? Who cares?

For the Department of Transportation I think Obama picks Chicago’s former transportation guy, Frank Kruesi. He is a pal of Mayor Rich Daley and Obama has a lot of quid pro quo for machine support. I mean, what good is bringing the White House under the wing of the Chicago Democrat machine if you cannot take care of your friends in the spirit of good old fashion Chicago cronyism.

Finally, there is the most prestigious position of all, Secretary of State. I see that going to Bill Clinton. He is the perfect choice. Anyone who can finagle those highly profitable deals with the potentates of the Middle East has the negotiating skill to solve any world problem. Some suggested Hillary, but she is not about to be the second or third woman anything. She is still looking for a glass ceiling to break — not rise through a previously shattered portal. This will allow Bill Clinton to move beyond his well known affinity for domestic affairs and into the more exotic world of foreign affairs.

That’s not all folks. Here are a few important miscellaneous appointments.

In England, the national department heads are called “ministers.” Well, Obama his own version in the personages of not-so-reverend Jesse Jackson, Jeremiah Wright, Al Sharpton and Michael Pfleger. The sometimes Reverend Jackson covets the SOS job (among other things), but the simple truth is that Obama doesn’t like him at all. I see Wright as Congressional Chaplain, where he can beseech God to damn America in front of the men and women who are doing a good job of it already. Sharpton as head of the Employment and Equal Opportunity Commission, where he can organize demonstrations agains himself. Pfleger? Hmmmm. Oh. Pfleger becomes U.S. Envoy to the Vatican, where his imitations of black preachers will keep the Pope in stitches. The are both Aryans, you know. Jesse Jackson? I mean, you have to do something with the guy. Maybe ambassador to Zaire to get him out of the country.

Since Obama is sure to fire U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who is cleaning out the corrupt Chicago machine of a lot of Obama friends and supporters, we should consider the replacement — which will come at the recommendation of Illinois’ strident paritsan hack senator, Dick Durbin. I am thinking the new U.S. Attorney in Chicago will be Mayor Daley’s brother, Michael Daley (no photo available).

Speaking of brothers … Obama needs to help out is own, who is living on one dollar a month in Kenya. With his knowledge of the ravages of poverty, I think Obama’s brother makes him head of the Food Stamp Program.

Correction: I originally had George Soro identified as a Greek. An understandably outraged Greek blog reader corrected my error. Soros is a Hungarian. My apololgies to the Greeks … and the the Hungarians, for that matter.

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>OBSERVATION: Team Obama off message?

>First we have Bill Clinton appearing on “The View” and “The David Letterman Show” on the same day. Given two major opportunities to push the Barack Obama candidacy, Good ole Bill hardly mentions the Democrat presidential nominee. I would say Clinton damned Obama by feint praise, but he didn’t even offer up any praise, feint or otherwise.

In responding to a number of questions, Clinton was more impartial than the average left-leaning news anchor. Most of his praise we reserved for his wife, with John McCain coming in second. His omission of any mention of Obama was so obvious that comedian Chris Rock, who followed Clinton on the Letterman set, did an impromptu schtick about reminding the former President who won the nomination this year. Rock mocked Clinton’s seeming inability to utter Obama’s name.

As if that was not enough surprises for Obama, his own pick for Vice President, Joe Biden, did a little dumping of his own. The Delaware senator said the “McCain can’t email” television ad put out by Obama was “awful” and if he had known about it in advance, it never would have aired. I had made my own opinion known in a previous blog, but I never expected to get support from Obama’s running mate. The commercial was offenisve because McCain cannot email because war injuries pervent him from useing a keyboard.

Are these guys a wee bit off message?

>INSIGHT: Biden his time … for Hillary

>For a moment in time, there was question whether John McCain would replace Sarah Palin as his vice presidential partner. This seems to be mostly generated by the liberal pundits as an indirect way of exaggerating Palin’s negatives. Now cometh a more persistent backroom whisper — that Barack Obama will trade in Joe Biden for Hillary Clinton.

The rumor that is getting increasing volume in the blogosphere and among mainstream pundits is that Old Joe will resign in the few precious weeks before the election due to health reasons. They even specifically say an aneurism will be the stated malady. This would give Obama a woman, to offset the surprise and effective selection of Palin, and a former adversary a la Jack Kennedy’s selection of Lyndon Johnson.

It certainly is a most cynical theory — so cynical that it is politically feasible. (I wonder if this would be matched by Palin dumping the geriatric McCain for Mitt Romney.)

Would Obama and the Democrats go to such an extreme? Why not? The Democrats are the consummate pursuit-of-power party with an anything-to-win core philosophy. I have long suggested that Obama was unelectable. If the Obamacans and Democrat leaders did not see it quite that way over the long haul, they most certainly have come closer to my thinking since the appearance of Palin on the political platform. Maybe they now see it slipping way.

The question is … Is such a bait-and-switch too cynical for the American public. Will voters be enthralled with the progressive’s dream ticket, or revolted by the chicanery of it all. Of course, much depends on the credibility and believability of Biden’s health claim. Death would be much more convincing than some last minute infirmity of convenience, but not as easy to accomplish.

The more serious question … “Would Hillary actually help?” If not, then the strategy is nothing more than bloggers with more time than knowledge playing head games.

I think the switch is within the realm of possibility because I think the Obamacans could think Hillary would pull them out of a noise dive by checkmating Palin. However, just because they think so, does not make it so.

My own unsolicited opinion is that the Hillary gambit would backfire. Hillary looks good as the also-ran. No reason to think of those pesky Whitewater days, the IRS lists and the stolen White House china. The Clintons are intriguing personalities, but that does not mean that 51 percent of the voting public would like to see them in office again. In some ways, they are political O.J. Simpsons. Their every move generates a celebrity fascination, but behind that, we all know they did it.

If Palin was the “carrot’ to motivate the conservative base, Hillary is just the stick that would whip the right wing into a rabid campaign frenzy.

Furthermore, the suddenly more serious and intense vetting of the Clintons (yes, both of them) would likely lead to the exposure of a number of troublesome issues that will lay dormant as long as they are sideliners. In addition to a re-examination of all those Clinton era accusations and findings, there are more contemporary matters. Her senate fundraising activities have not been without controversy. And then there are Bill’s post-presidency wheelings and dealings with Middle East potentates and liaisons of a more personal nature.

Hillary would do to Obama, what Palin did for McCain. She would shunt him off to the sidetrack of media attention. While the ham-handed McCain needed the temporary diversion of public attention, the charismatic Obama cannot afford to be taken off message in the all-critical final days of this very long, long campaign.

Also, standing next to the Clintons (yes, both of them), Obama would appear diminished — less like a president. He would become the Sarah Palin of is own campaign — a breakthrough novelty who seems a wee bit short of experience. This is a more serious problem for him because he is applying for the boss’s position, not the assistant.

Then there is the question of breaking the racial barrier and glass ceiling at the same time. Is that just too much progress for the nation at one time. Could be.

Maybe Obama thinks this is a way to flip a losing campaign into a winning effort. I can also see Hillary buying in on the hope of preventing Palin from shattering through the ceiling many credit Clinton with cracking.

With the American electorate being so closely divided, it is not easy to forecast the results of such a dramatic turn of events — especially with the potential of other issues, such as Iraq and the economy, to produce their own dramatic surprises.

However, my gut tells me the Hillary maneuver would fail. Instead of boosting Obama’s currently rattling rocket, it may cause a complete flame out. There were many good reasons Hillary was not choosen in the first place, and all those good reasons are still lurking beneath the surface just waiting for the chance to be bite Obama in the butt.

>UPDATE: Hillary’s voters.

>In a previous blog, I suggest that as much as 15 percent of Hillary Clinton’s primary voters could cross over to John McCain. I thought I was being a bit optimistic, but calcualted even five percent as a serioius problem for Barack Obama. Well … was I wrong. A recent poll indicated that as many as 25 percent of the New York senator’s primary support will not vote for Obama. Wow! That is more than a disaster for Obama. That’s the ballgame.

Now granted, they may not all be crossing over for McCain. The poll did not identify cross overs and the stay at homes. Regardless, that is an amazing defection.

It should be noted that the poll was taken after the Clintons’ — Mr. and Mrs. — speeches at the Democratic convention, and before the naming of Sarah Palin as McCain’s running mate. Can it get much worse?

This all tracks with my unwavering belief that Obama is unelectable without a major … and I mean major … blunder on the McCain side.

>OBSERVATION: Hillary’s people: Where goest they?

>There is a lot of speculation about the impact of the Hillary Clinton voters. The starry-eyed progressives are now convinced that her 18 million voters will march to the polls in lockstep with the Barack Obama legions – especially since Hillary’s highly predictable and obligatory “ringing endorsement” of her one-time (and maybe still) rival and their own orgasmic overreaction to the Obama acceptance speech.

This is just one element in the ill-founded optimism that drives the progressives in the Democrat party to believe victory is inevitable, and a landslide is likely.

Certainly most of the Clinton voters will vote for Obama. They are democrats to the core. More significant, however, will be the percentage of those who cross over to John McCain or stay home on Election Day. I think this percentage will be higher than the liberal pundits believe.

First of all, not all Hillary voters were Democrats. Left-wing pundits have consistently advanced the belief that Rush Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos” was successful in getting potentially hundreds of thousands of Republicans to cross over in key Democrat primaries to defeat Obama in such states as Michigan and Texas. If their contention is more than political paranoia or baseless banter, they have to know that those folks will be back home in the GOP in November.

Then there is the “bitter women” issue. No matter what Hillary says, a number of her women will be unforgiving of the guy who derailed the first ever woman presidential candidate – and in their minds, the first woman president. From anecdotal reporting, these women are definitely out there, and they are organizing for McCain. McCain’s veep choice will most certainly draw more of them to the Arizona senator.

This gets even more intriguing if you consider the possibility that, despite Hillary’s speech, she is privately signaling her people to defeat Obama to keep open her options for 2012 when there again may be no incumbent running. Rumors are already circulating that Hillary’s brother is a McCain recruiter on the q-t. Hmmmmm! How devious.

Then consider the philosophic issue – and it is not all just about women. Incredible as it may seem, Clinton evolved as the conservative candidate. She was the preferred candidate for the conservatives and moderates in the Democrat party. They are likely to find John McCain’s mushy conservatism more compatible to their views than the radical liberalism of Obama. Sometimes it IS about issues.

Finally, there is the big issue. Racism. I know we are not supposed to address this head on, but here I go. A lot of Democrats … and I mean a LOT … are racists. They were supporting Clinton for one reason. Obama is black, and Clinton is not. If Obama continues to be black in the general election campaign (Hey! If Clinton can become the conservative candidate, anything is possible.), you can expect those people will not like him any more now than they did then.

Let’s assume that McCain picks up a measly five percent of the Clinton voters (and I am betting closer to fifteen percent), that’s close to a million votes (and if I am correct, almost 3 million votes). That’s more than enough to decide the election. (Consider this: In 2000, a switch of only 900 votes from George Bush to Al Gore — out of more than 100 million cast — would have put Gore in the White House.)

I suspect that the hard corps Obama insiders, such as the cold and calculating David Axelrod, know the problem. While the enraptured progressive pundits proffer political fantasy as reality, the hard-nosed strategist must be more than a bit concerned.

>OBSERVATON: Is the election over?

>

From the fever swamps of the blogosphere to the halls of academia, there is a chorus of voices who have come to the same conclusion about the presidential election: Barack Obama is going to win in November, by something resembling a landslide. DAVID PAUL KUHN — Politico.com

So sayeth the liberal establishment.

The radical left gabbers and scriveners, such as Tom Press and Bob Cesca, are mentally becalmed in one of two political doldrums. They either remain bewildered over Barack Obama’s apparent inability to break away from the hapless John McCain in the major polls … or … they stagnate in their belief in the certainty of Obama’s election – a landslide no less. For the latter, it is neither a theory nor a dream, but a self-induced inevitability.

Their optimism is buoyed by the uncritical and ever-praising pronouncements and opining of the major news media and entertainment industry. To their fault, they fail to recognize that the applause of Hollywood and the prophecy of the pundits are no more than the returning echos of their own overly optimistic and fatally biased voices.

For all the hoopla, optimism, attempts at self-proving prophecy, and down right stupidity, one fact remains. Obama is NOT winning. Even if you take the race today, and trust the polls, the junior senator from Illinois is basically tied with the much derided and dreaded McCain. Day-by-day the candidates merely switch places within the indecisive margin of error.

If you apply past trends and a bit of common sense, the real questions are: Has Obama already lost? Is the presidential race over?

In other words, “decision ‘08” may be in the can already. The voters may already have made up their minds, and it is only for us to wait out the remainder of the campaign until they can turn their private opinions into cast ballots that can be gathered and counted.

There is a point in Bridge where the outcome of the game can be deduced even though there are several tricks to be played out. Those unfamiliar with the game may see uncertainty in the remaining plays, but seasoned bridge players see the inevitable result. We may have reached that point in the 2008 presidential campaign. While we must play out the hand through the conventions and General Election, old political bulls can foretell the results – assuming the remaining cards a played properly.

It may not appear that way on the surface. After all, Obama and McCain are running neck and neck — usually somewhere in the mid-40s. There are, however, a number of indicators that Obama has lost the election, needing only the vote count to confirm that fact.

1. The most ominous sign is that despite Obama’s unprecedented promotional media publicity (we should not call it “news” anymore), he cannot edge over the 50 percent mark – ever. As I noted in a previous blog, Democrats generally require a substantial lead at this time in the election cycle to stave off the traditional GOP last minute surge. There is no reason to believe that the surge will not happen this year.

2. The percentage of undecideds is comparatively small. So, where those undecideds decide to come down is rather important. History tells us they are mostly going to McCain.

3. Then there is the Bradley Effect, which suggests the black candidate will not do as well among non-blacks as the polls indicates. Seems people fib to the pollsters when asked if they intend so vote for the African-American candidate. This is especially true if the pollster is black, which often is the case. More bad news for Obama.

4. While Obama has enjoyed the luxury of avoiding tough issues in the primaries, he is already seeing the negative impact of closer scrutiny. His borderline socialist platform will not fare well with the mainstream voters. His Middle East policy is in shambles. Its an unconditional pull out of Iraq, a build up in Afghanistan, and no idea what to do about Iran. Unconditional troop withdrawal is another word for surrender, and the public sees no need or desire for that. He opposes the popular public will to start drilling for oil in Yosemite Park, if necessary. His legislation to commit hundreds of billions to “solve” world hunger does not get traction with voters who see enough needs here at home.

5. Obama is also going to get roughed up for his assent through the rank and file of the notorious and corrupt Illinois political environment. His carefully erected façade as a reformer, and agent of change, is shattered by a record of go-along politics in the seedy world of the Chicago machine. While corruption is found by newspapers and the federal prosecutors under every political rock, Obama has never shown an interest in reforming his own flagrantly flawed political family. Throughout his Illinois state Senate career, he was among the most loyal supporters of the machine.

For his political advancement, Obama accepted its support, benefited from its most infamous denizens, courted its criminals as his closest comrades, doled out taxpayers’ money to friends and allies, and politically endorsed the worst of them. The local old guard is hoping for Obama’s election to rid them of the Patrick Fitzgerald, the independent, incorruptible crusading U.S. Attorney, so they can return to the more salad days of cronyism, nepotism and pay-to-play politics.

Obama’s only U.S. Senate record is the number of votes he skipped. He has been an unapologetic abuser of the controversial “earmark” tradition of doling out pork.

6. When Obama moved to solidify his base in the black community, he caused a counteraction in the non-black community. The more he became perceived as the candidate of “his” people, the more he drove the non-black constituencies into the McCain camp. The problem for Obama is that this process is ongoing — likely to continue through Election Day. Obama’s defeat will undoubtedly bring outrage from the elements in the black community. There will be charges of racism. In truth, any group that votes up to 90 percent for a candidate based on their common ethnic ancestry has no credibility in accusing anyone of racism.

7. There is no doubt that Obama is woefully inexperienced and too far to the left for the average American voter. Whether he can supersede these deficiencies with platitudes and personality is the critical question. More likely his inexperience will be more glaring and his philosophy and platform more obviously unexceptable in the post-convention period. .

8. Despite the kissy face appearances on the dais, the schism between the Obama and Clinton camps has not been bridged – and will not be completely. Because they are Democrats, a lot of Clinton supporters stick to the party line for pollsters and public consumption. What they do in the voting booth is another matter. They know Hillary’s next best chance is 2012. An open nomination is in her best interest. While the percentage is debatable, there is no doubt that McCain will be harvesting from Hillary’s fields.

9. Then there are some interesting anecdotal indicators. Every day, AOL asks a campaign related question. Day after day, the answers weigh heavily against Obama – often by wide margins. It is not scientific, but the consistency of anti-Obama results and the spread in favor of McCain have to make you wonder. While most candidate-bashing books rarely find readership beyond the partisans and zealots, “The Case Against Obama” has soared to the number one best seller in the country. According to one report, the sale of anti-Obama message t-shirts are now outpacing the pro-Obama

All these seem to be minor phenomena, potentially moving only low single digit percentages – maybe even fractions of percentages. But, keeping in mind that we are a nation precariously divided, this election could be decided bye the slimmest of percentages.

While the Obama supporters are basing their claims of a landslide victory on the level of publicity, the smart money is betting on the only thing that counts – the voters. Obama will not win or lose on the basis of some grand consensus. Most likely, his much-touted victory will slip away almost imperceptibly over the next 80-some days. This year’s “October surprise” may be the emergence in the national polls of John McCain as the pre-emptive front-runner.

>REACT: Father Pfleger’s return to his throne … ah … pulpit?

>Father Michael Pfleger is back at the pulpit. Cardinal George, who suspended the priest errant for two meaningless weeks of abstinence from the Saint Sabina sacristy, has given more evidence of his disappointing reign as the bishop of the Chicago Archdiocese.

The mini-banishment was the result of the brouhaha that followed Pfleger’s sexist and racist over-the-top performance at Obama’s former church, where “Trinity” refers to Jeremiah Wright, Louis Farrakhan and Michael Pfleger. The latter’s mockery of Hillary Clinton was only the vehicle for a larger rant against non-black America.

Shortly after his satirical impersonation of a black preacher hit You Tube, the very Arian looking Pfleger issued a less-than-apologetic mea culpa. I am sure Pfleger was sorry that he caused Barack Obama to resign from Trinity. I am sure he was sorry he received a personal rebuke from Obama. Even in regret, however, Pfleger never took responsibility for his actions, expressed sincere remorse, or demonstrated a firm commitment not to repeat his transgression – the three requirements for Catholic confession and forgiveness. He gave no evidence that he was sorry for the thrust of his message. His sorrow was more like the regret of a bank robber over getting caught — not the crime. The only people who accepted his apology were those who thought he was right to do what he did, in the first place.

It should have been the last straw, but Cardinal George treated like it was a unique lapse. The punishment was less than the slap on the back of the hand that nuns applied in the days of the old Catholic Church. Perhaps he was intimidated by the lavish media praise the press traditionally bestows on religious apostasy – especially by left-of-center preachers.

Oh, Perhaps it was the zealous demonstration of support from Pfleger’s followers at Saint Sabina, who each Sunday absorb and endorse Pfleger’s homilies of racial paranoia and divisiveness. Their You Tube-captured applauds, cheers and “amens” demonstrated a disturbing resonance with Pastor Pfleger’s anti white diatribes. It would appear that those who take up the pews function more like a cult than a congregation devoted to a good and greater God. Like many other narcissistic, egomaniacal and charismatic personalities, Pfleger has his following.

That is what is so disturbing about his triumphant return. Yes, triumphant. Pfleger returned to HIS throne to the rapturesque cheers and hosannas of HIS congregation. These are clearly HIS people. There was no sense of embarrassment over Pfleger’s statements and rebukes by both Obama and George. Absent was the humility of a true penitent. So powerful is his messianic message that many “members’ of Saint Sabina are not even Catholic. They are there for the political, not the priestly, Pfleger. Every exuberant alleluia was a proverbial fist in the face of Cardinal George.

Pfleger, has been allowed to remain pastor at Saint Sabina’s for more than 25 years – well past the time church policy normally requires a move. He is a good example of why that policy is a good one. It is designed to remind the parishioners that the pastor is NOT the church. It is designed to prevent the cult-ification of a congregation. George had a great opportunity to restore Saint Sabina to the communion of the Catholic Church. Carpe Diem! The Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago failed. Though his stature outside the parish may be deservedly diminished by his antics, Father Pfleger returns to Saint Sabina the clear victor.

>OP ED: Why is she still running?

>Why is Hillary continuing to fight for a nomination most observers believe to be lost?

One of the most popular assumptions should be the first to be eliminated. It is the theory that suggests that she is driven by madness – an irrational and obsessive lust for power allowed to run wild by demented denial. Perhaps it is her formative years devotion to the Chicago Cubs that has made her believe that “all but certain” victory is never certain.

I think these are not the reasons.

Clinton & Co. is far too shrewd to become the victim of such gross self deception or unreasonable expectations — and even if SHE has succumbed, it fails to explain the support she receives from savvy party leaders, seasoned political aides, much of the voting public and a crafty “been there/done that” husband. If it is just the matter of a crazy lady, why are there still so many super delegates withholding their daggers? There is more to Lady Hillary’s tenacious quest than personal blind ambition or unbridled optimism.

First and foremost, despite every attempt to cajole her out of the race – to seal the victory – Barack Obama does not have it yet. Close, maybe. All but certain, arguable. But still no cigar. The declarations of demise have been premature. There is still a pulse – weak and fading – but still there. There is always that long-shot possibility and SOMETHING will happen between now and the convention.

If Obama is nominated, as seems most likely, it will be by the slimmest of margins – more of a technical or circumstantial victory than a mandate of any sort. Her popular vote and delegate count are within a hair’s breath of Obama. Despite the popular consensus of inevitability, it is obvious to every politico and pundit in the world that Obama’s calculated lead languishes within the traditional margins of error. The Democrat party is a house divided. Obama is the candidate of only half the party faithful. A sea change based on some shocking disclosure is always possible – and with numbers so close, it may not take a very big shocker to crate that sea change. It would appear that out of 300 million Americans, it will only take about 150 super delegates to decide on the Democrat candidate.

Though her maladroit allusion to the assassination of Bobby Kennedy was never intended to mean that she included Obama getting knocked off as a victory strategy. It is true, however, that with months to go before the convention’s coronation, many things other than assassination can happen. Obama’s Chicago political machine background is far from fully vetted. There are other issues and other “friends” that can bring revised judgment on the junior senator from Illinois. Maybe there is a blockbuster scandal hidden beneath a rock that Clinton has uncovered.

But even that seems too little of a hope to warrant the expending of both cash and political capital at rates necessary to maintain forward motion. What makes the most sense is 2012.

In all likelihood, Clinton and her people know that she is not going to get the nomination this year. They also know that there is not likely going to be some dramatic event to pull the rug out from under Obama. Never know, but odds against.

It is safe to assume that Clinton still wants to be president, and if 2008 is not going to put her into the race, then the next best thing is to go for it in 2012. Suddenly her seemingly Quixotic campaign makes sense. She builds political infrastructure – lists, donors, endorsements, friends, knowledge, new registered voters.

She also shows political muscle. How many candidates can win primary after primary against the “inevitable” candidate. Several pundits suggest, to their bewilderment, that she is losing bargaining strength with the Obama folks. The prospects of a vice presidential nomination have diminished as she pressed on. She may have put her self out of consideration for Secretary of State of Attorney General. She may have lost Obama’s clout to make her head of the Senate – replacing Harry Reid. What these pundits fail to appreciate is that Clinton has absolutely no interest in bowing to bargain with Obama. She is going after independent political strength.

A lot of Democrats express concern that the never ending Clinton campaign is hurting Obama’s chances in the General Election. Exactly! An Obama defeat would mean an open nomination in 2012. And who would be in the strongest position to take that nomination? You got it. Lady Hillary.

I think Clinton shares my view that Obama is not electable in November – so what harm in making that a bit more certain. In fact, the more decisive the defeat, the less likely she will have to battle him again for the nomination four years hence.

Clinton knows that a signification portion of her voters are never going to vote for Obama. He is too liberal and too black. Many of those new voters she is recruiting in the latter primaries will be McCain voters with Obama heading the ticket.

If it is McCain in 2008, the next presidential election is a good opportunity. Not only will the Democrat nomination be up for grabs, but the normal second term prospects for an incumbent president are altered by McCain’s age. He could easily be a one termer.

So, methinks rather than being mad as a hatter, Clinton may be sly as a fox. While Obama campaigns for 2008, Clinton has already begun the 2012 campaign.

>REACT: Creamer dreamer

>If I ever want someone to write a convincing article about the existence of the Tooth Fairy, I would assign the job to liberal emoter Robert Creamer, a fellow Illinoisan. I came to this conclusion after reading his latest espousings on the inevitability of the election of Barack Obama to the presidency. I find the argument advancing the existence of the Tooth Fairy to be more compelling than Creamer’s brief on behalf of Obama’s election.

If you are not familiar with Creamer (pictured), he is a regular contributor to the Huff ‘n Puff Post … I mean the Huffington Post. He is the husband of Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowski (one of the more charming liberals), and according to his own tag line, Creamer is “a long time political organizer and strategist and author of the recent book, Stand Up Straight. How Progressives Can Win.” (Is “Stand Up Straight” demeaning to the gay community? Is this code language? You just cannot be too careful these days.)

Anyway … Creamer forgot to mention that he was the founder and head of Illinois Political Action, a radical left-wing advocacy group. I say “was” because he left that group when the local U.S. Attorney found a cell for him in one of those federal penal institutions. He spent half a year as a guest of the taxpayers for something to do with bank fraud, check kiting and not turning over payroll withholding money to the government — all the while he took home a six-figure salary and enjoyed a generous expense account. He copped a plea to avoid more serious charges – as if those are not serious enough. Of course, as with most scandalized and felonious left-wingers, he remains in the highest esteem of the liberal establishment – ergo his platform on the Huffington Pest…. ooops … I mean Post.

Hailing from Illinois, Creamer is another of Obama’s good friends of dubious repute – guys who span the spectrum from controversial to criminal. Tony Rezko? Bill Ayers? Jeremiah Wright? This is getting more interesting all the time. I wonder if Creamer’s enthusiasm for Obama is spelled p-a-r-d-o-n.

Weeeeell … as I said … one of Bob’s constant writing themes is the inevitability of Barak Obama. He is convinced — or at least attempting to convince – that Obama is the overwhelming people’s choice. He not only thinks Obama is going to win in November, but win big. As he puts it …

… the odds are good that Obama will win the Presidency. And if Democrats execute with precision during the campaign, the odds are good that he will win with a healthy margin.

In his recent Huffington column, ole Creamer cites a statistical model devised by the political prognosticators at http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/. He claims they show Obama easily carrying enough states to get 273 electoral votes, with 270 needed to win. And there are other states likely to go for Obama, according to Creamer.

I went to see what the deal was (see chart) . I found that 538 currently gives Obama an electoral victory of 270.8 – a meaningless one and a half vote victory. And what is the margin of error on this projection?

More interestingly, 538 gives the popular vote to McCain. This is a little like the nomination process, itself, where Obama could slip to second place in the popular vote (depending on your partisan calculas), but receive the nomination at the hands of the delegates.

Even more interesting in the 538 projection, Clinton swamps McCain in the Electoral College and wins the popular vote. It appeas that Hillary is the one who could “win with a healthy margin.”

Coincidentally, syndicated Columnist, Bob Novak, has done his own Electoral College analysis. He shows McCain as the winner today with the bare minimum of 270 votes. Another “who knows” result.

“The odds are good that Obama will win the Presidency.”??? What is Creamer thinking? Smoking? The only thing that can be extrapolated from these guesstimates is that we could be in for another long, long election night – or maybe days.

Of course, Creamer is an expert in the art of never being wrong, so he adds the disclaimer that his prediction could change based on new developments. Using Creamer’s logic, allow me to make my own prediction. I think that Ralph Nader will be elected president with 66 percent of the popular vote. Of course, my prognostication will be adjusted based on future data – like Nader’s failure to get out of single digit polling numbers by the last weekend of the election season.

Creamer confidently predicts that if the election were today, Obama would win. Whoa! There is a prediction as courageous as it is meaningless. Would someone take Creamer aside and explain that the election is not for another five months? Even at that, I take exception to Creamer’s opinion. If the election were today, I think McCain wins. Things seem to change when the voters have to get serious about their decision. That’s why early polls and projections are mostly wrong.
I am standing by my prediction that Obama bombs in November. I say we’re looking at a 51/48 win for McCain, minimally — with a few votes for Nader as the Green Party candidate and Libertarian standard bearer Robert Barr.

Time — and maybe the Supreme Court — will tell.

>OBSERVATION: Hillary is peddling the wrong argument

>In her effort to pull the rabbit out of the hat at the convention, Hillary Clinton repeatedly advances the argument that she is more electable than Barack Obama. If this were what the super delegates were considering, she would have a chance. Unfortunately for Clinton, that is not the deciding factor for the super Ds. They already know she is the most electable of the two.

The super delegates will likely put Obama over the top, but not because they think he is the stronger candidate. They will select him under the pressure of racial intimidation. They will rather risk losing this one election than lose the lock-step loyalty of their captive black constituency over the longer run.

They fear retribution, and not without cause. Black leaders and journalist are warning (threatening?) that the failure to give the nomination to Obama could result in an explosion of pent up frustration. The implication is clear. The African-American community will go ballistic if Obama is denied the nomination in the back rooms of the convention. There is more than a hint of violent protests.

However, the super delegates are less worried about a flare up of urban rioting than the long term impact of blacks staying at home on many elections days to come – or worse yet, accepting the courtship of the GOP. Even a small percentage change in party loyalty will have an enormous impact on all future elections at all levels.

For the Dems, however, it is a bit of a Hobson’s Choice since there is every reason to believe that their “other” mainstay constituency – the non-black working class currently owned by Clinton – may slip over into the Republican column on Election Day if they are denied their candidate. The super delegates are betting that the Clinton crowd will be less angry in rejection than the Obama crowed and less likely to stray for too long — and they are probably right.

For all the abuse she took, Geraldine Ferraro was right. Obama would not be where he is if he were not running as a black man. Instead of electabilty, Clinton needs to convince the super delegates that Obama’s nomination will be more disastrous for the party then her nomination. So, far no one is buying that.