Saturday, January 27, 2007

Hillary In The Bubble

Hillary In The Bubble

Senator Clinton comes to Des Moines:

Clinton's entourage included 10 vehicles and included a Secret Service detail.

That makes it difficult to work the chat and chew cafe in West Pole Bean. Today may be a harbinger of the campaign: mega-events or invite-only, no in between. As for invite only, the Gazette looks at Marcia Rogers' housecleaning:

Rogers is planning tonight's private party for invited guests in her southeast Cedar Rapids home as ``a conversation with Iowans.'

The point of the house party is to welcome Clinton to Iowa, for her to get to know Iowans, Rogers said. All people should feel like they have access to the candidates...

Emphasis added.

So what's the track record of candidates who are entombed in the Secret Service bubble? Leaving out uncontested re-nominations there are three modern caucus cases:

  • 1980 Dems: Carter and Kennedy both in bubble and Carter left most of the campaigning to surrogates anyway. So it's a non-test or a draw, since main surrogate Mondale was also bubbled.
  • 1988 GOP: Bush Senior blindsided by non-bubbled Dole and Bibled Robertson. Bubble hurts candidate.
  • 2000 Dems: Bubble doesn't hurt Gore, but speaking as a Bradley supporter it was hardly a fair test; the word was passed down from DC and Des Moines that Good Democrats were for Gore (yes, I was called a Bad Democrat over it)

    So we really don't know. My gut check: Bubble hurts Hillary.

    Chris at MyDD handicaps the front-loaded Dem calendar and speculates on the political junkie's wet dream, the brokered convention. He also maps the rote to the nomination; worth a read but here's the bullets, the first the most relevant:
  • Edwards must win Iowa.
  • Clinton must finish in the top two in two of the following three: Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
  • Obama must win an early state, and do "better than expected" in at least one other.
  • Everyone else must win an early state. Period.

  • Those recent Edwards first in Iowa polls have set the bar high...

    And from the right, Charles Krauthammer has a surprising energy plan:

    The president ostentatiously rolled out his 20-in-10 plan: reducing gasoline consumption by 20 percent in 10 years. This with Rube Goldberg regulation -- fuel-efficiency standards, artificially mandated levels of 'renewable and alternative fuels in 2017' and various bribes (er, incentives) for government-favored technologies -- of the kind we have been trying for three decades.

    Good grief. I can give you a 20-in-2: tax gas to $4 a gallon. Just look at last summer. Gas prices spike and, presto, SUV sales plunge, the Prius is cool and car ads once again begin featuring miles per gallon ratings.

    No regulator, no fuel-efficiency standards, no presidential exhortations, no grand experiments with switchgrass. Raise the price and people change their habits. It's the essence of capitalism.
  • No comments: