February 9th, 2008


Poor lonely Bill.

Bill Clinton addressed a crowd of about 200 people as he kicked off a 12-hour swing through the Bayou State. After leaving New Orleans, Clinton made a stop at a restaurant in LaPlace, then headlined events in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles and Monroe.

Though Clinton drew echoing applause from the Dillard crowd when he cited his wife's proposals for providing universal health insurance coverage and reducing expenses tied to borrowing money for college, the scene inside the chapel -- a quarter of the wooden pew seats never filled up -- stood in contrast to Thursday's visit to New Orleans by her main opponent, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, who drew more than 3,500 people to a packed arena -- and over 500 outside -- at Tulane University. 

And the kicker is, a lot of people didn't go to the speech at Tulane, because it was clear in the announcements that capacity was limited and that it was *HIGHLY* recommended that people RSVP if they wanted to get in.  The RSVPs were maxed out, and they still squeezed in extra people.  And after Barack's speech, he went outside and gave a short speech to the overflow crowd, too!  And why not? After all, it was nearly three times the size of Bill's crowd.

200 people?! I've spoke before more people than that before.

Given that Bill Clinton regularly charges $150,000 per speech, well, that's about $750 per person, isn't it? Something tells me that he's lost "market value" on this most recent tour of his.  The Democratic equivalent of Rudy Giuliani, perhaps?!

Nebraska goes purple.

A couple of weeks ago, the idea of the Nebraska Democratic Party was probably worth a good chuckle, in those parts.

Today, however...

Thousands of people statewide overflowed school gyms, sat in traffic and stood in groups on Saturday to be counted as part of Nebraska’s first Democratic presidential caucus. . . In Douglas County, the state’s most populous county, an average of 1,000 people turned out at each of 15 caucus sites. . . Sarpy County had one caucus site for 28,000 registered Democrats, triggering traffic backups for miles and complaints from voters while changing the way officials conducted the caucus. Law enforcement shut down Highway 370 . . . because the area was packed with cars.

The influx of people was so massive that volunteers began collecting preference cards for people who preferred Obama or Clinton, then allowing them to leave. . . “People are threatening to leave, and we didn’t want anyone to leave without being counted.. . The turnout is so far above all our wildest dreams.’’

“Desperation,’’ Sarpy County Democratic Party Chairman Burke Summers said when asked why officials changed procedures at the last minute. 

An early count showed that 6,000 people showed up at the school to caucus, including 2,000 people who registered Saturday. About 1,500 of the new registrants had switched from other parties.

“There’s a hell of a lot fewer Republicans in Sarpy County than there were yesterday,’’ Summers said.

Now, this might just be a wild guess on my part, but something tells me that most of the Republicans didn't switch to vote for Hillary. 

**Update** This post on Huffington tells the saga from a caucus-goer's perspective.
"The one heartening thing was that during the final announcement, the applause-o-meter for Hillary was at about 2 and for Barack it was at about 12."

And in Washington... a rout?!

This collection of firsthand caucus accounts from the Seattle Times certainly seems to indicate that Hillary Clinton is not having a good day there.

OLYMPIA -- 3:07 p.m. . . . This is not the official count but there were approximately 15 delegates for Obama, 5/6 for Clinton and 1 undecided.

RAINIER BEACH -- 2:52 p.m. "Final delegate count. . . total eight delegates for our precinct. Seven obama. One Clinton. "9 citizens have spoken individually for obama. No one has spoken for Clinton here. " 

TACOMA -- 2:51 p.m. ". . .The party official here estimated that there were at least 1,500 voters rather than the 500 they had anticipated. . . . There were dozens of Hillary supporters handing out stickers at the entrance, but it didn't seem like many people were taking them. . .. It quickly became clear. . .. that there were significantly more supporters of Obama than Clinton. At my precinct, Obama had 34 votes to Clinton's 22. As I left the caucus, the building erupted with chants of 'O-ba-ma, O-ba-ma!' "

SEATTLE -- 2:44 p.m. Reporting from Stevens Elementary Democratic Caucus, Precinct 2029: ''1:05PM This place is packed. .  . Precinct will get 12 delegates total. . . 8 for obama 3 clinton 1 uncommitted.

SEATTLE -- 2:29 p.m. Reporting from John Marshall Alternative School Democratic Caucus: "We had 69 people for Obama, 14 people for Clinton, 1 Uncommitted. The delegates were divided up 5 for Obama and 1 for Clinton.

LAKE FOREST PARK -- 1 p.m. . . . a rough sampling indicates there are already over 250 people here in the gym, and there is a line out the door to get in.. . there is no evidence of Clinton supporters at all that I can see. 


Final percentages for today's races.

Washington: 68%-31% Obama!
35 delegates to Obama, 14 to Clinton

Louisiana: 57% - 36% Obama!
23 delegates to Obama, 15 to Clinton

Nebraska: 68%-32% Obama!
16 delegates to Obama, 8 to Clinton

U.S. Virgin Islands: 89.9% to 7.6% Obama!
3 effective delegates to Obama (6 delgates with a 1/2 vote each), 0 to Clinton.

So, that's a pickup of 40 delegates, plus any he gains from superdelegates and the like... enough to pretty much cancel out Clinton's win in New York. Not a bad day, at all...  He's starting to speak like a presumptive candidate, albeit in a non-egotistical way... and that's a good thing, because it helps to take the wind out of Hillary Clinton's support. 

Next up:

District Level
Voting Delegation

February 10, 2008Mainecaucus[33]1653241034
February 12, 2008District of Columbiaprimary[34]1032152338

The list above leaves out Democrats abroad, which I believe will have their results available on or shortly after Feb. 12th. They're worth 9 delegate votes at the convention, which is noteworthy. 

***Update*** Nevermind what I said about 9 delegates up for grabs in the actual "cast ballot / assigned" voting part of Democrats abroad. It appears to be 6, even though the group as a whole casts 11 delegates.  It's all very confusing.