Former President Bill Clinton first attacks Barack Obama, as “fairy tale.”
** OBAMA UP BIG NATIONALLY, BILL CLINTON TOMORROW. More on former President Bill Clinton, and his seeming California swan song this weekend, tomorrow. Meanwhile, Barack Obama, clearly surviving the Rev. Wright firestorm, has moved to a 10-point lead over Hillary Clinton in the Gallup national tracking poll. It’s Obama 52%, Clinton 42%.
** 2010 GUBERNATORIALS AT THE CALIFORNIA CONVENTION. Possible gubernatorial candidates spoke at the convention yesterday, as I reported yesterday. Former Governor-turned-Attorney General Jerry Brown, Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi, state schools superintendent Jack O’Connell, and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom all spoke to the general session. Treasurer Bill Lockyer was scheduled, but I believe a no-show (before I arrived, not that it matters because he isn’t running). LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa didn’t come. Former Controller Steve Westly did not speak, but was all over the convention as Barack Obama’s California co-chairman (among other things, addressing a meeting of 500 Obamans). Phil Angelides? Haven’t seen him around.
There were no hospitality suites.
Brown, as noted yesterday, clearly got the best of it with a very spirited and amusing speech. Newsom, an old Brown family friend, scored points. As some sharp-eyed bloggers noted, Brown and Westly did have a private meeting. And so it goes.
** THAT MIGDEN-LENO CONVENTION FIGHT. For those intent few of you interested in this — I described it below yesterday — and there are certainly some folks getting carried away, with Democratic bloggers saying it overshadows Bill Clinton’s California convention appearance, which it quite obviously does not, here goes. (For everyone else, kindly ignore this.) I happened to show at the state senate district endorsement meeting last night as they were counting the votes. Very slowly. San Francisco Senator Carole Migden stormed out as I walked in. (Though it’s hard to tell when she’s storming, or not.) After about 40 more minutes, they finally finished counting, presumably utilizing base 11 arithmetic. Migden prevailed over SF Assemblyman Mark Leno, 150 to 115. Marin Assemblyman Joe Nation, who may actually win the primary, was third. With, er, one vote. One ultra-lib defeated another ultra-lib, with a moderate lib third.
President Clinton’s prominence is safe.
Of course, it being SF politics, the Leno forces didn’t take their defeat lying down, and immediately circulated a petition to force a convention floor vote on the local party endorsement. They got twice the, um, 300 signatures they needed. In my opinion, and I’m through thinking about this as of now, Migden’s party endorsement doesn’t look good. Ironically, it probably doesn’t matter, since the race is in one of the most highly educated, activist-oriented electorates in the country.
** WHERE THEY ARE TODAY.
Hillary Clinton is off the trail in Chappaqua, New York.
Bill Clinton is campaigning in San Jose, California and Medford, Oregon.
Barack Obama is campaigning in University Park and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
John McCain is off the trail in Sedona, Arizona.
** OBAMA’S BIG WIN IN TEXAS CAUCUSES REAFFIRMED IN SATURDAY’S COUNTY CONVENTIONS. The Texas Democratic caucuses — which drew a national record caucus turnout of some 1.1 million Texas Democrats on March 4th — were won by Barack Obama as first reported here. But the numbers were a bit unclear, in part because Hillary Clinton’s campaign tried at every turn to slow down the count or have it ended entirely. I’ve reportedly extensively on this.
The Clinton campaign tried unsuccessfully to have the next phase of the national delegate selection process shot down by stopping the Texas county conventions on Saturday. Texas party chairman Boyd Gaines put out a statement about this at the time, as reported here. And the effort to she Texas county conventions failed. Though some as yet unknown entity went to the trouble of arranging massive robocalls falsely claiming that the county conventions had been cancelled.
After all those machinations failed, the Texas county conventions took place yesterday. The result: Obama emerges with a landslide 59% to 41% victory over Clinton.
As a result, and as I’ve reported previously would be the case, Obama wins the overall Texas contest, emerging with five more delegates from Texas than Clinton.
** A FEW CONVENTION NOTES. As you’re gathering, I’m not exactly live blogging the California Democratic convention in San Jose. It’s not that big a deal. Mostly useful for gathering information, saying hi to a lot of people, and so on. And I’m paying a fair amount of attention to what’s happening this weekend in Iraq. Which is, er, not so good. A few non-random thoughts during a slow Saturday mid-afternoon …
… Former Governor-turned-Attorney General Jerry Brown delivered a stemwinder of an address this morning. Speaking seemingly off the cuff, and certainly without teleprompter, Brown won roars from the crowd as he discussed his work on climate change, environmental, and consumer issues, and ripped repeatedly into the Bush Administration. I’ve known Brown since I was in school, by which I do not mean college; he’s a master at this.
Here’s how he closed: “I don’t do much today but sue people. But hopefully someday I’ll get around to doing a little more than that and maybe you’ll help me.” State party chairman Art Torres, who was legislative director of the United Farm Workers when Brown instituted the state’s Farm Labor Act, told him as he exited the stage to a wave of approval: “I’m honored to follow in your footsteps.”
… San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has made a good impression here. He picked up a Mentor of the Year award from the Young Democrats, met with various interest group leaders, and spoke to the convention this afternoon. While he didn’t scale up to the hall as Brown did — the Newsoms are old family friends of the Browns, incidentally — he did well, telling the crowd about various accomplishments in San Franciso.
Newsom has a great line he uses about San Francisco, which is also my native city. He usually mentions that “somone” called the City by the Bay, “47 square miles surrounded by reality.”
That someone, I will now reveal, is Paul Kantner of the Jefferson Airplane.
… It wouldn’t be a state convention without some very odd political behavior. The, um, exciting battle for the party endorsement in a Bay Area state senate district between two San Francisco left-liberals, state Senator Carole Migden and Assemblyman Mark Leno, tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee in the big picture (Migden is lesbian and Leno is gay), features roaming bands of supporters chanting and waving signs. The main impression they’re having on me is that they keep getting in my way. And they make me wonder why they’re wasting their time on this “visibility” work, which has no real world impact whatsoever.
Another thing. I think a lot of these folks work for the Democrats in their respective houses. A lot of bad blood there, making this even more psychological and emotional than political. And that’s precisely as much attention as that warrants.
** GALLUP NATIONAL TRACKING POLL: OBAMA OVER CLINTON, MCCAIN SHADES DEMS. The brand new Gallup national tracking poll shows Barack Obama back with a significant lead over Hillary Clinton, 50% to 43%.
John McCain edges both Democrats at the moment, by two points over Obama and four points over Clinton.
** RASMUSSEN NATIONAL TRACKING POLL: OBAMA OVER CLINTON. For the first time since the Rev. Wright firestorm broke, Barack Obama is back up to a significant lead over Hillary Clinton in the Rasmussen national tracking poll. Clinton had reversed Obama’s prior lead, then she and Obama were neck and neck, with Clinton generally a couple of points ahead.
Now it’s Obama over Clinton, 48% to 42%.
** BILL CLINTON IN CALIFORNIA. Former President Bill Clinton continues his relentless drive to help his wife secure the Democratic nomination against new frontrunner Barack Obama this weekend with a speech to the California Democratic Party convention in San Jose and a private meeting with uncommitted California superdelegates to the Democratic national convention.
After a couple of events in Pennsylvania, Clinton flies into San Francisco Saturday night. He’ll have a private meeting some 20 superdelegates — he’s called them before pitching Hillary — and address the state party convention Sunday morning, now set for 10:30 AM. Then he’s off for a town hall meeting in Medford, Oregon late Sunday afternoon. And a day of campaigning in other parts of Oregon, where Obama has a big lead over Hillary, on Monday.
The Obama campaign is countering former President Clinton in the superdelegates pitch department with former state Controller and eBay honcho Steve Westly and San Francisco Districty Attorney Kamala Harris.
Incidentally, I’m told that California party chairman Art Torres — who is, of course, himself an uncommitted superdelegate — said yesterday that the superdelegates should ratify the choice of the earned delegates. And their almost certain choice is Obama.
** CHRONIC TECH PROBLEMS CONTINUE ON NWN. They especially affect commenting in the Forum. Sorry for the continuing difficulty, which I’ve been assured was eliminated. There is a workaround, if you need it, in the Forum section.
** PELOSI REAFFIRMS HER STAND ON THE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION. At last night’s chairman’s welcoming reception at the California Democratic Party convention in San Jose, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reaffirmed her position that the superdelegates should essentially ratify the candidacy of whomever wins the most delegates in the primaries and caucuses. As that will almost certainly be Barack Obama, a group of 20 Clinton fundraisers, as previously discussed, had sent Pelosi an angry letter telling her to back off that position. It’s the fond scenario of the Hillary Clinton camp that her candidacy will be saved by a raft of superdelegates after all the voting is done.
It turns out that this group of 20 Clinton fundraisers, many from New York, have put together about $24 million for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee over the past decade. Which is clearly a lot. But since there is a new fundraising model in the new century, centering more on small donors mobilized via the Internet than on super-rich donors or on relatively smaller groups of the affluent bundled by influentials, the threat rang a bit hollow. Or merely old century.
In any event, Pelosi, by all accounts, was perturbed by the attempt to push her around. As she chairs the Democratic National Convention in Denver, this was, let us say, a remarkably heavy-handed and dunderheaded move.
Indeed, Pelosi has countered with her own letter to Democratic contributors, in which she expresses serious concern about the tone and length of the presidential nomination race.
I will do whatever it takes to protect our candidates and make sure their campaigns to drive change forward don’t skip a beat. …
Throughout the Presidential nominating process, I have been so proud to watch Democrats turn out in record numbers and demonstrate enormous grassroots energy. And soon we will have an exciting presidential nominee who will make our entire party proud.
WHERE THEY ARE TODAY.
Barack Obama campaigns in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
Hillary Clinton campaigns in Indianapolis and New Albany, Indiana, and in Louisville and Madisonville, Kentucky.
Bill Clinton campaigns in Girardville and Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
John McCain is off the trail, spending the weekend at his prospective Western White House in Sedona, Arizona.
** 24/7 LIVE TV NEWS FEED FROM RUSSIA TODAY. Russia has re-emerged as one of the world’s great powers. Click here for a live TV news feed on your computer, bringing you English-language, jargon-free, fast-paced coverage of global and Russian news from the new Russia Today channel.
You probably already know about CNN International, BBC World, and Al Jazeera. Russia Today, which also features culture, entertainment, and sports, is based in Moscow and is owned and operated by the TV Novosti division of Russia’s state news agency, RIA Novosti.
While it’s quite foolish to expect to see, say, criticism of Vladimir Putin on Russia Today, the channel is very interesting nonetheless. The NWN live link to RT does not constitute an endorsement of the channel’s views. It’s presented as an otherwise unavailable new media window.
** TRACK GLOBAL AND U.S. ENERGY PRICES IN NEAR REAL TIME VIA BLOOMBERG ENERGY MARKET WATCH. Crude oil closed at $105.62 per barrel on Friday. Energy markets are closed on the weekend.
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