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.
Scott at election projection is running the numbers.
Related: Hillary, Obama and the Nat’l Psyche.