Friday, September 07, 2007

The Opinionator

September 7, 2007, 3:16 pm
Nothing More Than Feelings
By Tobin Harshaw
Tags: ,

Because, apparently, regular polls don’t give vague enough snapshots of Americans’ political opinions, Gallup has now conducted a survey of attitudes on the presidential candidates using a “feeling thermometer” rating scale. “Only one — Barack Obama — stirs up warm feelings in a majority of Americans,” the study found. “However, Rudy Giuliani, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and John McCain are all close to Obama in favorability. Clinton’s image is the most polarized of this group: nearly as many Americans say she leaves them cold as say they feel warmly toward her.”

But Joe Gandelman at his “independent thinker’s” blog, The Moderate Voice, points out that “Gallup notes that in getting a nomination these national rankings don’t outline the whole story. What’s important is how candidates are perceived within THEIR OWN party ­ and on that score Ms. Clinton is in good shape. Gandelman continues:

Expect Clinton’s foes ­ within and outside her party ­ to look at this poll material and adjust their campaign’s strategy and tactics accordingly. Most likely Republicans and Democrats will seek to drive up her negatives and perhaps even try to bait her into getting into situations that show her in the worst possible light. On her end, Clinton will have to continue to make the case that she can gain wider support than she has ­ and have it be increasingly evident in poll numbers as primary season unfolds.

Diane Meyer at Respublica, however, feels the real losers are the American people: “What’s mind boggling is the high percentage of people taking the poll who answered “never heard of” in response to Thompson, Biden, Romney, Richardson, Huckabee, and Brownback. Are these people living in a media free zone?

A “media free zone”? At the risk of losing my paycheck, I’d still like to see Gallup do a “feelings” poll on that concept.

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September 7, 2007, 9:00 am
They Don’t Need No Stinking Badges
By Tobin Harshaw
Tags: ,

Patrick Healy at The Times’s Caucus blog has the scoop on the latest Hillary Clinton supporter to find himself in big legal trouble. The twist: it’s not Norman Hsu.

“Among the 11 public officials arrested in an F.B.I. corruption sting in New Jersey today was a leading Democratic supporter of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign in that state, Mayor Samuel Rivera of Passaic,” reports Healy. “Blake Zeff, a spokesman for the Clinton campaign, just e-mailed to say that Mayor Rivera stepped down from Mrs. Clinton’s Mayors Council today.”

Lawhawk, one of the Garden State lawyers at A Blog For All, calls it “one of the larger corruption arrests in recent years — and that’s even by New Jersey standards.”

Keven Hayden, founder of the liberal site American Street, blames the media for linking the incident to Clinton, when one of the 11 arested has “loose ties” to the Clinton’s campaign: “These are small potatoes crooks, selling out for far less than the crooks who fed off Jack Abramoff. And what does Clinton have to do with any of it? Not a thing.The corporate media is already sliming her…”

While they argue over the significance of the New Jersey scandal, the prolific conservative blogger Fausta Wertz looks into a trend: “The Busted Clintonistas — a good name for a rock band. Heck, make that a symphonic orchestra: there are 47 individuals and businesses associated with the Clinton machine who have been convicted of or pleaded guilty to crimes. And that doesn’t include the ones still on the lam.”

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