Like Pepsi, Obama’s the voice of a new generation, and that’s nothing to sniff at, says John B Judis in The New Republican today. In fact, more and more pundits, whether they like Obama or not, are united in agreement that it’s time Hillary gave up. Policies or no, Obama is getting out the Democratic vote and uniting it. He’s attractive to black folk, white folk, gay folk, Christian folk, womenfolk, menfolk, undecided folk and even, gasp, Republicans. And most importantly, according to the latest polls, Obama has a better chance of beating McCain.
All Hillary’s hanging on to at this point are the voters who indicate that they value experience over anything else, and there’s just not enough of them to go round to get her over the line. So will Hillary bow out gracefully, or will she be dragged out, clinging to the nomination by her fingernails, with only a photo of Obama in a white turban and a flimsy plagiarism argument to keep her campaign afloat?
The Drudge factor: The power of Matt Drudge was affirmed yet again this morning as a photo of Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) dressed in African tribal garb was featured on his Web site, setting off a furious back and forth between the Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton campaigns. “Clinton Staffers Circulate ‘Dressed’ Obama” screamed the Drudge headline that accompanied a story that cited an e-mail from a Clinton staffer that read: “Wouldn’t we be seeing this on the cover of every magazine if it were HRC?” — The Fix, The Washington Post
How would Jesus vote?: As an evangelical who worked in Democratic politics before entering journalism, I’m used to getting looks from liberals who are embarrassed for me when I use the E-word to describe myself. Confusion flickers across their faces as they instantly reassess my political leanings and intelligence. People who have known me for years start asking whether I watch Fox News and brace for spontaneous proselytizing. — Amy Sullivan, The Washington Post
Orgasm for America: Gennifer Flowers wishes to contribute to American political history in more than just orgasms. This is why she will auction recordings of orgasms she had over the phone with Bill Clinton in 1992. According to her publicist — because Gennifer Flowers has a publicist — the phone chats have “already received a great deal of interest in this project from collectors from all over the world.” — Wonkette
Throwing the ashtray: With all positive avenues effectively blocked off, the debate in Clinton-land is all about going negative—or, more precisely, how negative to go. In Wisconsin, the campaign hit Obama with TV ads attacking him on health care, Social Security, and his refusal to debate Clinton there; with direct mail on his “present” votes in Illinois; with conference calls accusing him of flip-flopping on his commitment to public financing, and, yes, of rhetorical plagiarism. “A friend of mine told me how the Marines train people in hand-to-hand combat,” says retired Über-consultant Bob Shrum. “If your opponent has a weapon and you don’t, you pick up an ashtray, a lamp, a chair, anything you can, and keep throwing stuff. It seems to me that’s what the Clinton campaign is doing.” — John Heilemann, New York Magazine
Like Pepsi, he’s the voice of a new generation: Obama is the candidate of the new–a “new generation,” a “new leadership,” a “new kind of politics,” to borrow phrases he has used. But, in emphasizing newness, Obama is actually voicing a very old theme. When he speaks of change, hope, and choosing the future over the past, when he pledges to end racial divisions or attacks special interests, Obama is striking chords that resonate deeply in the American psyche. He is making a promise to voters that is as old as the country itself: to wipe clean the slate of history and begin again from scratch. — John B Judis, The New Republican
Who will tell Hillary it’s over?: The Democratic dilemma recalls the Republican problem, in a much different context, 34 years ago, when GOP graybeards asked: “Who will bell the cat?” — go to Richard M. Nixon and inform him he had lost his support in the party and must resign the presidency. Sen. Barry Goldwater successfully performed that mission in 1974, but there is no Goldwater facsimile in today’s Democratic Party (except for Sen. Ted Kennedy, who could not do it because he has endorsed Obama). — RealClearPolitics
He’s full of himself: Barack Obama is an awfully talented politician. But could the American people, by November, decide that for all his impressive qualities, Obama tends too much toward the preening self-regard of Bill Clinton, the patronizing elitism of Al Gore and the haughty liberalism of John Kerry? It’s fitting that the alternative to Obama will be John McCain. He makes no grand claim to fix our souls. He doesn’t think he’s the one everyone has been waiting for. He’s more proud of his country than of himself. And his patriotism has consisted of deeds more challenging than “speaking out on issues.” — William Kristol, The New York Times
Blood on the convention floor: If Hillary Clinton wanted a graceful exit, she’d drop out now—before the March 4 Texas and Ohio primaries—and endorse Barack Obama. This would be terrible for people like me who have been dreaming of a brokered convention for decades. For selfish reasons, I want the story to stay compelling for as long as possible, which means I’m hoping for a battle into June for every last delegate and a bloody floor fight in late August in Denver. But to withdraw this week would be the best thing imaginable for Hillary’s political career. She won’t, of course, and for reasons that help explain why she’s in so much trouble in the first place. — Johnathan Alter, Newsweek
What Obama and McCain can agree on: Interestingly, Mr Obama and Mr McCain do agree about some big controversial things – more than you might expect, remembering that the first is a liberal Democrat and the second a conservative, albeit quirky, Republican. They agree about global warming, for instance, a huge change on the Republican side. Both are calling for a cap-and-trade system to curb emissions of greenhouse gases. In office, perhaps either would be pragmatic enough to consider instead a carbon tax, which would be more cost-effective, or failing that a cap-and-trade system modified to emulate a carbon tax. They should study the proposal of Warwick McKibbin and Peter Wilcoxen, which I discussed on this page on June 7. — Clive Crook, The Financial Times