Greetings loyal derby readers! The jockeys have escaped the big city and are enjoying a short hiatus in greener pastures.  We’ll be back next week and look forward to keeping you informed of all the goings on as we race ahead to the 2008 nominations and beyond!  In the meantime, take a gander at these recent headlines.  Have a Happy New Year!!

 

White House says no terror threats for New Year’s

Democrat John Edwards: I’m running for president

Kucinich runs again, on one big issue: Bring the troops home

Obama surprised how he has shaken front-running Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton

Saddam receives justice he denied others

One of the jockey’s favorites, Dick Morris, writes here, in the New York Post that Barack Obama’s candidacy for the presidency might just be the Christmas present Hillary Clinton needs to assure her the nomination.

Having the right opponent is one of the essentials to electoral success. In a primary, the right foe is someone who is strong enough to keep anybody else from gaining serious traction, but not strong enough to win. Obama seems to fit the bill.

A couple of years ago when Seinfeld went off the air at the height of its run, TV execs and advertisers threw sitcom pilots at the four mega-stars like rice at a Chinese wedding. Of course they’d be great on their own! They were the epitome of “can’t-miss” projects.Fast forward. Jason Alexander flopped with not one, but two shows, Michael Richards flopped with one of his own. Even the gorgeous and perfect-haired-wonder Julia Lewis Dreyfus crashed and burned with her own show. She’s bounced back with very modest success of late, though her New Adventure of Old Christine isn’t exactly setting the Nielson ratings afire. As for Jerry Seinfeld, to his credit, he went back to his strength – standup – and has thrived.

All were fabulous in their previous roles and on paper looked like show-leading Emmy winners. They might have been the greatest hypothetical show-headlining TV stars in history.

Sound familiar?

Senator Hillary Clinton has a lead role in one of today’s most successful political shows. Both sides have largely praised her work in the Senate and she’s proven herself an able legislator and who can dance nicely with both the Left and Right. But most importantly, she’ll never be cancelled. Hillary could out-serve Thurmond and Byrd combined if she’d like. Her seat defines the very term “safe”.

Now unless you were camped out for a new PS3 since 2000, you know Hillary is preparing to officially announce her run for president. Right now she leads her rivals on the left by healthy double-digit margins. She’s the only candidate who can raise money by flying over states at 30,000 feet; she doesn’t even have to land. People tie their wallets and ATM cards to helium balloons.

In a very crowded field, Hillary is the lead horse by every sane estimate.

Yes, junkies, Senator Hillary Clinton is the greatest hypothetical candidate in history. When pollsters call and ask, “Would you vote for woman?” folks say yes. Of course they do, because they aren’t actually voting for a president on the phone, they’re answering with a verbal “yes” or “no” or pushing a touch tone number. And when moderates and independents are asked specifically whether they’d support Hillary, many also say “yes”. Of course they say yes, it makes them feel progressive. It makes them sound and feel open-minded. By the same token, I might say “yes” if I was asked whether I’d vote for Ann Coulter, but I’d think twice, at least, before making it official on Election Day.

Many respondents to these early polls mean what they say. They would vote for Hillary, and they will vote for Hillary when the hypothetical becomes a touch screen monitor in a tiny polling booth shielded by a blue curtain. But will enough early supporters still feel that way when it matters? Doubtful. They told focus groups they’d watch Jason Alexander’s dreadful Bob Patterson and Cosmo’s Michael Richards Show, too. We all know how those turned out.

Derby fans, there is a deep cavern between cocktail party vote pledging and pulling the trigger in November of 2008. The Hillary Clinton for President show might look great on paper, but expect voters to tune out when it matters.

Not really, but here’s a piece that sounds a lot like what we’ve been saying for a year. Rudy is hotter than Jenna Jamison right now, but will that last when people start paying attention to what he actually stands for?

Giuliani’s Primary Hurdle

Sorry folks, we’re still ironing out a few of the technical glitches we encountered on Thursday.

For now we’ll point you to the WaPo: With Bayh Out, Which Democrats Benefit Most?

Enjoy The Fix.

Well yes, it probably is, but that’s not the point. During a visit to DC this week, Tom Delay said the following:

“Hillary will be the next president of the United States because they have built a coalition.”

Either Delay now feels liberated to say what he really thinks, or he’s been drinking his own bath water in his DC hotel. Even if you truly believed Hillary was going to be elected, why would you say that in the same sentence that includes an “ask” of $52 per-year to your Grassroots Action and Information Network? (GAIN) What does the $52 get you? Therapy when she wins?

Conservatives want a fight, a cause, an 800-pound horse to chase after and eventually catch and slaughter. The last thing conservatives want to hear is someone like Tom Delay talk about forgone conclusions.

While we’re questioning Delay’s strategy, one has to wonder where this powerful coalition led by MoveOn has been hiding for all these years. Says Delay, “I have never seen a more powerful coalition.” Huh? MoveOn is largely a giant shell with oodles of stale e-mail addresses. And this coalition he speaks of has done nothing but lose elections for an awfully long time. Certainly this “powerful coalition” can’t claim credit for November’s gains. Exit polls suggest those pickups were directly attributed more to scandal and ethics questions than to some “powerful coalition.”

And, lest Delay forgets, that “powerful coalition” has been losing presidential elections, the golden ring of politics, pretty well lately, losing 7 of the last 10. And one of those wins, Clinton in 1992, was with a paltry 43% of the vote.

Way to rally the troops, Tom. I’m just dying to send you my money. Look folks, if you were thinking of sending Delay $52 to join GAIN, save your dough and send us $26. We’ll use your cash on water filters for the office.

Somehow this missed us. (And we generally pride ourselves on being vain enough to catch press mentions the instant they hit!) Better late than never, PD appreciates the love from the MSM.

How some assess Bayh’s chances:

• The Fix, washingtonpost.com’s politics blog: Gives Bayh the fourth-best chance of winning the nomination. Says he has a tough road selling a centrist message to liberal activists in the primary but is “as well-organized as any candidate in the field and has put together an extremely impressive — and experienced — staff from top to bottom.”
• Politicalderby.com: Ranks Bayh fifth in the Democratic field. Says he is an attractive candidate, despite being “charismatically challenged” and despite registering little passion in the polls even though he’s been running longer than almost any other candidate.
• MSNBC.com: Bayh might do as well in other Midwestern states as he has in GOP-leaning Indiana. But it’s unclear that he “has the verve to lift crowds.”
• National Journal’s May poll of 108 Democratic insiders: Gave Bayh the fifth-best chance of securing the nomination. One insider said there is a tendency to underestimate Bayh, who has been raising money and honing his skills.
• Congressional Quarterly: Bayh could avoid the “liberal” label that’s hurt other Democratic nominees, has raised enough money to enter the race and is telegenic. But “coming across as a mild-mannered Midwestern deacon is not what presidential campaign audiences expect, and in Washington, he is viewed as an intellectual lightweight.”

– Gannett News Service

Following Obama through New Hampshire

Obama meets with Hillary’s donors

Incoming House intelligence chief botches easy intel quiz

Kucinich to Run For President

Two Mommies Is One Too Many

Annan Criticizes U.S. in Farewell Speech

Has it really been 10 years that we’ve been mocking Hillary Clinton for her book, It Takes a Village? It seems like only yesterday the book was launched with much fanfare. You’ll recall that moderates, conservatives and independents alike scoffed at the notion that “villages” should raise our kids, not moms and dads. It was classic “cradle to grave” liberal thinking then, and it’s no different today. Is this the message Hillary wants to send as she stakes out the centrist ground? If you’re a republican, yes. If you’re a democrat eager to finally win a presidential election, not so much.

You have to admit, any story that refers to Hillary Clinton as “Mama” has got to make you snicker.  The Washington Post reports in this story, For Now, an Unofficial Rivalry, that “Don’t tell Mama, I’m for Obama” has become the Obama campaign’s unofficial motto. Apparently, the Clinton campaign was somewhat suprised by the Obama rise of popularity:

Senators say Obama’s explosive rise has startled Clinton and her advisers, who are mulling how to react. With Obama planning a trip to the early-primary state of New Hampshire on Sunday, they may need to decide soon.

“Hang on tight,” advised Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), an Obama fan. “They ain’t seen nothing yet.”

 

We don’t normally post reader e-mails, but this one seemed especially passionate and is likely a fair representation of where many conservatives stand on the candidacy of John McCain. Despite the fact that we have him as the lead horse, we’ve always maintained he has serious hurdles to eventually claim the nomination. The rankings are a snapshot of today’s racetrack, not necessarily where we predict the horses will be a year from now. Enjoy.
Dear Derby,
I am a retired veteran who served in Viet Nam. Also, my brother was killed in Viet Nam in 1968.  My father is retired Army an served in both WWII and Korea. So, I understand first hand the cost of freedom.  Despite my deep sense of patriotism and love for my country, I can tell you emphatically that if McCain is selected as the GOP candidate for President, I will denounce my citizenship and move to another country.  With McCain as President, I will consider American lost and beyond restoration.  I believe that McCain and his fellow moderates are directly responsible for the GOP losing the mid-term elections in November.  The conservatives that elected him and the GOP majority expected them to work vigorously to undo the damaged caused by 8 years of the Clinton administration and to restore our traditional religious and moral values. Instead, all he and his fellow moderates did was to fight the administration for 6 years and negotiate with a party that is committed to redefining America as a socialist state, following the European model.

McCain and his fellow moderates, have betrayed the trust of conservative Americans and is a traitor, by our Founding Fathers’ principles.  He is absolutely the worst choice for the GOP!!! I would vote for Hillary (who I despise) before I would vote for McCain. At least I know where she stands.  McCain is misguided and lacks the wisdom of our forefathers and does not have the correct vision for our future.

William, Ft Lauderdale

Dems’ New Intel Chief Want More Troops

Hillary can win but mustn’t

Gov. Jon Corzine (D-NJ): Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York “would have a hard time getting elected”

It’s a shame there’s no Arabic word for Duh!

Election 2008: Kerry Trails Giuliani and McCain by Double Digits

The Public Has Been Vastly Misinformed

 

We’ve stumbled across a snazzy polling site that allows you to match up a slew of republicans against an equal mess of democrats. The service, brought to you by SurveyUSA, shows you how the 2008 candidates would fare in any mano-a-mano or mano-a-hillaryo campaign. Give it a look, it wins our “Dang we wish we’d thought of that” award.

HILLARY IS JUMPING INTO RACE FOR PREZ

Clinton Hires National Fundraiser

Obama Meets Party Donors (and George Soros) in New York

Why the early field for 2008’s election is the biggest yet

John Bolton’s Resignation Letter

Clinton reaches out to Iowans about 2008

We have a winner!

By

Filed Under General on Dec 5 

Congrats to Joanne Tatum, she was randomly selected as our first winner of $100 in cold, hard cashola. Now if only we could find her. If anyone knows Joanne, you might tell her to check her e-mail!

Come back tomorrow when we’ll give away a signed copy of the bestselling novel Christmas Jars, (cheap plug alert!)

The AP has this fresh piece on Hillary’s “electability”. The article is largely rehash of things we’ve heard before and hardly breaks any news. There is, however, one line that jumps right off the monitor like nude pictures of Danny Devito. It’s a quote from democratic “strategist” Chris Lehane:

“Everyone is looking at how she compares to McCain, and that will help her in the long term because he hasn’t been tested the way she has,” Lehane said, noting that Clinton already runs about even or just slightly behind McCain in most polls.

I’m hardly a member of the John McCain fan club, but to suggest Hillary is more tested than McCain is ludicrous. McCain has been on a ballot about 43 more times than Hillary and, in case Lehane was high in 2000, McCain ran for President in 2000 under a microscope so big it could find talent in Paris Hilton.

McCain has his own set of issues to overcome, like kissing and making up with grassroots conservatives, but he’s vastly more electable in a general election than the 8th Ankled-Wonder of the World.

It’s simple. We have $100 burning a hole in our pockets. The gang at PoliticalDerby will award $100 in cold hard Benjamin Franklin cash to a lucky winner on Monday evening, 24 hours after this post. All subscribers to “The Wire” are eligible. “The Wire” is our free periodic e-newsletter featuring Power Ranking updates, contests, news and more.

Easy enough? Subscribe now if you haven’t already. We’ll post the winner’s name here Monday evening.

Democrats to offer permanent tax cut

The Audacity of the Anti-Hillary

Will Obama force Clinton’s early entry?

Reid’s skills on offense to be tested

Pelosi Taps Reyes for Intelligence Post