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McCain Goes After Obama in Victory Speech

It seems John McCain knows who his general election opponent will be. In his victory speech last night, McCain took a veild swipe at Barack Obama on his message of hope.

Hope, my friends, is a powerful thing. I can attest to that better than many, for I have seen men’s hopes tested in hard and cruel ways that few will ever experience. And I stood astonished at the resilience of their hope in the darkest of hours because it did not reside in an exaggerated belief in their individual strength, but in the support of their comrades, and their faith in their country. My hope for our country resides in my faith in the American character, the character which proudly defends the right to think and do for ourselves, but perceives self-interest in accord with a kinship of ideals, which, when called upon, Americans will defend with their very lives.

To encourage a country with only rhetoric rather than sound and proven ideas that trust in the strength and courage of free people is not a promise of hope. It is a platitude.

When I was a young man, I thought glory was the highest ambition, and that all glory was self-glory. My parents tried to teach me otherwise, as did the Naval Academy. But I didn’t understand the lesson until later in life, when I confronted challenges I never expected to face.

I did not see his speech, but on paper, it is very powerful. The problem is, can McCain actually portray himself as the real candidate of hope. He has a very unique history that could play well if used effectively. Will an Obama vs. McCain campaign result in hope vs. real hope?

Clinton to Accept State

After a week of speculation, word comes that Clinton is on track to be nominated as the nation’s next Secretary of State. Today the New York Times reports that Clinton will accept.

Reports surfaced earlier that Clinton was unsure of whether to accept the post. According to the Times, Clinton came to the decision after much discussions with Obama about her role in the post.

This comes as Richard Holbrooke, the former UN Ambassdor in the Clinton Administration is rumored to be a top choice for Deputy Secretary of State.

Governor Paterson will appoint a Senator who will serve until 2010 when a special election will be held. In 2012, the seat will be up for a full term election. A Marist poll conducted showed that New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is the choice among New Yorkers to replace Clinton, though a large portion of the electorate remain undecided.

Kennedy Eastablishes Healthcare Working Groups

Senator Kennedy, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions established three Healthcare Working Groups within the committee.

Prevention and Public Health: Chair Senator Tom Harkin
Healthcare Quality: Chair Senator Barbara Mikulski
Insurance Coverage: Chair Senator Hillary Clinton

Clinton once asked Kennedy to create a special Subcommittee on Healthcare reform, which she could chair. That request was denied by Kennedy, but it looks like Clinton may be part of a core group of Senators to work on Healthcare reform. As Chair of the Insurance Coverage Working Group, Clinton would be working on the heart of Healthcare reform.

Only one problem, Clinton may be heading to the State Department.

Reaction to Clinton as Secretary of State

Here are some reactions to the possibility of Senator Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.

Former President Bill Clinton

“If he (Obama) decided to ask her and they did it together, I think she’ll be really great as a secretary of state,” Clinton told an economic conference in Kuwait hosted by the National Bank of Kuwait.

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger

“I believe it would be an outstanding appointment. If it is true, it shows a number of things, including great courage on the part of the President-Elect. To appoint a very strong personality into a prominent cabinet position requires a great deal of courage.”

Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ)

“It seems to me she’s got the experience. She’s got the temperament for it. I think she would be well received around the world,” said Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz. “So my own initial reaction is it would be a very good selection.”

Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND)

“She’s worked across the aisle, has good bipartisan relationships,” Dorgan said. In the role of chief U.S. diplomat, Clinton “would have instant credibility around the world,” he added.

He said the U.S. has “a lot of relationships to repair and a lot of work to do, so I think she’d be a fine choice.”

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA)

“I think she is a very very bright woman and very experienced. I think this could be a great move.”

Secretary of State Clinton?

That’s the buzz around town tonight. Speculation is abundant that Hillary Clinton may not only be on the list of possible candidates for the State Department post, but may be near the top.

Undisclosed sources inside the Obama transition team say many advisers are pushing the idea. Speculation was fueled when it was reported Clinton flew to Chicago–Obama’s Transition Headquaters–on “personal business.”

When asked if she would consider a Cabinet appointment, Clinton left the door open.

“I am happy being a senator from New York, I love this state and this city. I am looking at the long list of things I have to catch up on and do. But I want to be a good partner and I want to do everything I can to make sure his agenda is going to be successful.”

Of course, the question is does Obama want a Clinton in his administration.

Other contenders for the post are John Kerry, who endorsed Obama early in the campaign and Bill Richardson, a close friend of the Clinton’s who endorsed Obama. Richard Holbrooke, former UN Ambassador is also considered to be a top contended as well as Republican Chuck Hagel.

Barack Obama Wins Democratic Nomination

After a long and hard fought Democratic contest, Senator Barack Obama became the victor after securing the 2,118 delegates required to be nominated.

Obama rolled out almost three dozen superdelegates before the South Dakota and Montana primaries, eventually clinching the nomination as the results of the South Dakota primary trickled in. Clinton did not endorse Obama tonight, but all signs point to a possible endorsement tomorrow or in the coming days.

Clinton won the South Dakota primary, home state of prominent Obama supporter and former Majority Leader, Tom Daschle. Obama won the Montana primary.

Obama is now the first African-American to be nominated by a major party, exactly 200 years after the end of the slave trade (1808).

Now, we look to November…

DNC Rules & Bylaws FL/MI Ruling

Here is the ruling.

Florida

1. Allocation of the delegates based on the January 29 Florida primary, 105 for Clinton and 67 for Obama.
2. Full seating of all pledged delegates and superdelegates at half a vote.
3. Final voting weight is 52.5 delegates for Clinton and 33.5 delegates for Obama.

Michigan

1. Adoption of of the Michigan Party plan, dividing the delegates 69 for Clinton and 59 to Obama.
2. Full seating of all pledged delegates and superdelegates at half a vote.
3. Obama gets the 2 add-on delegates from Michigan.
4. Final voting weight is 34.5 delegates for Clinton, 29.5 delegates for Obama.

The new magic number is 2,118 delegates. Obama is about 65 delegates from that number, which he is likely to reach sometime after this Tuesday’s primary in South Dakota and Montana.

MN, KY General Election Polls

Two polls I will like to point out today, one from Minnesota and the other from Kentucky. Both of which surprised me.

Minnesota

McCain: 38%
Obama: 53%

McCain: 38%
Obama: 53%

Over the last year, Minnesota has been in the battleground column and probably still is, however, in the last one or two months, polls have suggested that Minnesota may be lean or even likely Democratic this year. McCain has extraordinary strength in the Great Lakes region, particularly Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Polls in the later two states suggest he can win. With recent polls suggesting that Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty may not be a strong Vice Presidential pick against an Obama match-up (here) , one has to wonder if Pawlenty is a smart choice for McCain. It is my personal belief that the Vice Presidential nominee should NEVER be picked based on moving a state from one column to the next or solely based on geography. Perhaps McCain’s meeting with possible Vice Presidential contenders, Jindal, Romney and Crist, says something about his thinking.

Kentucky

McCain: 57%
Obama: 32%

McCain: 42%
Clinton: 51%

Many people are skeptical of this poll and on the surface, rightly so. How in the hell is Clinton beating McCain in Kentucky of all places. The reality is, Clinton has lead several times in Kentucky as early as July 2007 against McCain. The last Survey USA poll out of the state in April should McCain just two points ahead of the New York Senator. Kentucky has voted for the winning candidate since 1964 and are more than open to voting for a conservative Democratic. What have we seen in the closing months of the Democratic nomination–Hillary Clinton’s movement to the center. Does this prove her electability, maybe, maybe not, but once again, it highlights Obama’s problem with Reagan, conservative Democrats.

She Said What?

Definitely not something Clinton needs considering her situation in the Democratic nomination contest.

On Friday during an editorial board meeting with South Dakota newspaper Argus Leader, Clinton invoked the RFK assassination in 1968 as a reason to continue the race to be the Democratic nominee.

Instead of quoting her, here is her comments in full context (something you won’t get in the media).

 

I am willing to give Clinton the benefit of the doubt and when in context, it does seem she was only referencing why she should go all the way to June–other campaigns have done it before. Bill Clinton wrapped it up in June 1992. RFK was in third place in the delegate count but planned to take it to the convention before his tragic end. Edward Kennedy was far more behind in the delegate count than Clinton and took it to the convention in 1980.

NOTE: My internet is still not up an running. It will be awhile until everything is back to normal.

Current Delegate Count

Real Clear Politics

Obama – 1975, 51 to win

Clinton – 1775, 250 to win

Dem Con Watch

Obama – 1962, 64 to win

Clinton – 1780, 245 to win

CNN

Obama – 1962, 64 to win

Clinton – 1777, 248 to win

MSNBC

Obama – 1960, 66 to win

Clinton – 1783, 243 to win

We will find out if the number needed is is 2,210 or 2,026, on May 31st. That is when the DNC’s rules committee will decide whether or not to reverse their previous decision and count Michigan and Florida.