Huge Dem turnout in NH – for or against?

Drudge has the siren up and is shouting that the Democrat turnout is so huge that they haven’t enough ballots.

Iowa also had a huge turnout. We should remember, though, that in New Hampshire pretty much anyone, from anywhere, can show up and vote simply by declaring they mean to move there, so who knows just who is voting up there?

Still, this is very interesting. It is wonderful to see big turnouts – great to see folks engaged in the process – but since these folks are not turning out to “vote against Bush” which the press has told us since 2000 is the prime motivator for any election, one must ask: are the Democrats turning out hugely to vote for someone, or against someone?

Are they turning out to vote for Obama or against Hillary?

The answer is important. If these numbers are more about crushing Hillary and breaking the Clinton stranglehold on the party, that means the national election may be interesting, but not inflamed. If their all about elevating Obama, well, then…I think the GOP better get worried, because Obama’s appeal – right now anyway – seems to be broad enough to cross generations and parties. I’ve read posters in right-wing forums saying “I’ll vote for Obama before Huckabee…” Which is really interesting, since Obama is about as “pro-abortion” as you can get, and Huckabee is a social conservative which supposedly conservatives hunger for.

Their thinking, apparently, is that “if there is going to be a socialist in the White House, let it be a Democrat socialist.” I do not know how they reconcile that with their usual rumblings about how “a socialist in the White House will be the death of America,” but that’s what I’ve been reading.

This is one wild election season – the most surprising in my memory since (as I said yesterday) 1968. This is a whirlwind. Bill Clinton is calling Obama’s candidacy a fairy tale and complaining that the press ignored Obama’s team calling him (Clinton) “a crook”. Hillary is stepping into deep puddles she is better-off avoiding. They’re flailing, and I think the Clintons are thunderstruck at their abandonment by the press, many feminists and so forth.

But perhaps this is a bit of reaping what they have sown. The Clinton “war room” and that “scorched earth” mentality that defines their playbook has contributed deeply to our national divisions, and perhaps the nation is saying, “that’s enough; no red/blue civil war here, please!”

Meanwhile Obama is moving forward on a message of unity. He has a clear voice and a smile; he hasn’t been double-speaking yet,and no one is looking closely at his sparse record…yet…although that will come. (Ummm, is coming as I write…)

For now Barak Obama is making a great impression on a huge portion of the populace; he gives the impression he is willing to take people on as people not as “our side” or “their side,” and that is powerful and seductive after 20-some years of division.

And the GOP, well, their still clobbering it out between themselves (but getting little coverage, which is probably good for them, for now) and mucking things up by bringing religion too much (in my humble opinion) to the fore. Governance is governance. Religion is religion. I really think Americans in general do not want an amorphous commingling of the two. The GOP has some work to do in order to prevent itself from falling apart into warring factions of “superChristians” and “regularChristians” and “Libertarians who are getting sick of dealing with those other two groups.” If they can’t pull themselves together, they risk a huge stay-at-home that will put the White House (conceivably) into the hands of a fellow without much experience nationally or internationally.

Yep. Whirlwinds. As Dubya reminded us in his 2001 inaugural, there are angels in them.

The Washington Post is wondering why the Democrats can see no progress in Iraq. The Wall Street Journal wonders, too. Both rather pooh-pooh Obama’s assertion that the surge is only working because the Democrats were elected to Congress in 2006. So…there is some scrutiny of Obama beginning. Ed Morrissey has more.

Melanie Phillips says Obama is having a Princess Di Moment:

Obama appears to be on the wrong side of just about every important issue going; indeed, were he to be elected president he would be a danger to the free world. But hey – the guy makes people feel good about themselves; he stands for hope, love, reconciliation, youthfulness and fairies at the bottom of the garden.

Siggy is writing about Snowballs and Revolutions – why things are not working out “as planned” for either the Democrats or the Republicans. Sounds like an interesting podcast on the subject.

Scott at election projection is running the numbers.

Remember when Dick Meyer called Obama a Rorschach test? Ed Driscoll discovers more evidence that Meyer was correct.

Related: Hillary, Obama and the Nat’l Psyche.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Bender B. Rodriguez

    There is still plenty of time to take on Obama the nominee, and to do so respectfully and on the issues. But now is the time to drive a stake in Hillary’s (and Edwards’) heart of “us against them” politics. And, again, it really must be the Dems who take this step, since they have been practicing foam-at-the-mouth, BDS, third-world Marxist-Leninist revolutionary-type politics ever since Election Night 2000. It is time to end the war. That might be possible with Obama, but the war will continue, they personally assure us, with either Hillary or Edwards.

  • edward cropper

    Obama hasn’t been double speaking yet because he hasn’t said anything of substance that could be doublespoken.(if there is such a word)
    This guy is an empty suit with two pair of pants.
    Those who said they would vote for him before they would Huckabee are not being inconsistent as conservatives.
    So Obama is pro-abortion and Huckabee professes certain conservative traits. By your logic Huckabee should get the vote. I would argue that Huckabee is anti-abortion but is as liberal as Obama in many other areas. Abortion is not a political factor because it is a judicial problem that the courts are not going to fully address, and congress is not going to address at all. That leaves immigration, taxes, the prosecution of the war in Iraq etc. etc.
    Obama is a phony, but Huckabee is a bigger phony.
    We will survive Obama, or Clinton, or Edwards. This nation is greater than all these passing obstacles put together

  • marybel

    Bless your soul for linking to the American Thinker article, which for all of us is a “must read.” Hillary has always scared me with her devotion, since her college thesis, to Saul Alinsky, and I had previously been unaware about Obama’s connection to that particular socialist’s philosophy. You must be feeling well to be so adept, and for that I am particularly grateful, that you are so well that you note that Obama is of the same ilk…except he is “Hillary on steroids” because of his rock star, American Idol, status. I don’t know how you do it, but I am grateful for you for sure!

  • betsybounds

    I posted this earlier today at

    “Well I haven’t seen anything like what is happening in the Democrat Party right now take place before in my lifetime, and I think there is something much more than Obama’s being an attractive candidate going on, here. I think we’re seeing a huge revolt–indeed, to call it a revolution might not be too strong–against the Clintons. They have controlled the Democrat party, run it like their own feudal fiefdom, for the better part of 15 years now. We thought we’d seen machine politics before? Hah! Mr. Bill went on a rant that was broadcast on ABC and is available on the web (see it at that seemed to make no sense outside the context of his pathological fury at being thwarted–which he has demonstrated before (although it’s generally kept more under wraps). Hillary, since Iowa, is reduced to either tearfully saying “It’s hard” or resentfully announcing that Obama is “no Martin Luther King.” Her campaign is coming apart, and neither he nor she have the first clue how to stop it. I predicted this would happen back in November, when she made her first gaffe about drivers’ licenses for illegal immigrants. It seemed to me that her campaign is among the most tightly controlled structures in the world–she’s been famous for control and focus for years–and anything that tightly controlled is bound to be rigid and unable to roll with a real serious punch–kind of like a skyscraper that has to have flexibility built into it or it will crack and fall in a strong wind.

    So–pay attention. This threatens to get extremely interesting very fast.”

    Of course, all of this could fall apart at any moment. But my opinion of the Clintons remains the same–they have built the most powerful political machine this country has ever seen. Tammany Hall has nothing on it, and the Pendergasts were minor league compared to it.

  • betsybounds

    BTW–with respect to my opinion that this situation is unprecedented in my lifetime: I’m 61 years old.

  • lsusportsfan


    I would say withhold judgement on Huckabee for a while and see if you he is a phony or not

    I think the Anchores makes a interesting point about religion as to the GOP side. Again I am not so sure exactly what we are seeing. It seems the fight about Huckabee is not about religion at all.

    I do have this view though. We have to be careful about what what we are seeing. WHile this is being televized nationwide to the politcal junkies these early races are indeed local and state wide. People are talking to particular groups that are different. For instance my guy which is Huckabee was not talking religion or talking super Christian stuff in NH. He was talking to another facet of concerns that are in that part of the contry. ROmney, MCain, THompson, they are all doing that.

    So while it might seem that Canidate X is bringing up y in a exclusive manner. IT is important to remember these are states they are talking too. We are all different and I think it is natural at this stage.

    I agree Americans do not want a commingling of the two. However I am not seeing people think that is really happening. What the various camps are waking up too is religion here is not the issue but some economic concerns. That is occuring on all sides and it shall be on display