Some observations from the big primaries last night:
1. Endorsements are meaningless. How\’d the Kennedy love-fest work out for Obama in Massachusetts? How much time did the media spend covering how \”Camelot\” had blessed Obama? I\’m waiting for CNN to break into their programming to announce how wrong they were with the same fervor. \”BREAKING NEWS! Remember that Kennedy endorsement? Uhhhh…. never mind.\”
2. Money isn\’t meaningless, but it\’s close to it. Mitt Romney flooded the southern states and California with campaign ads and finished third in a great deal of them.
3. Rush Limbaugh\’s name was invoked dozens of times on MSNBC, CNN, and Fox, as if he is somehow the King of Conservative Nation. The election results last night showed that not only is this not the case, the coverage demonstrated that networks are only willing to understand conservatives at the most surface level. As if conservatives are more easily led around by popular entertainers. I\’m anxiously awaiting the news stories about how split the Democratic Party is because George Clooney endorsed Obama.
4. CNN spent the entire night dicing up the electorate to tell us how various ethnicities voted. I waited patiently by the TV for them to call out my group – how did lumpy Catholic white guys vote? Who won the Brazilian amputee vote?
5. Bill Richardson showed up on TV sporting a horrific beard. It looks like after he dropped out of the Democratic primaries, he\’s been sleeping under some high school football bleachers in Las Cruces, clutching a bottle of Wild Irish Rose in a paper bag.
6. For a long time, I\’ve taken offense to the media\’s portrayal of Evangelicals as single-issue, myopic voters. After Huckabee\’s big victories in the south, I think I may be less right than I thought.
7. Several TV commentators mentioned that McCain might want to consider Jeb Bush as a running mate. This is actually a great idea, if John McCain plans on spending next January golfing.
8. As far as vice presidential candidates for McCain, I still think Charlie Crist is the leader in the clubhouse.
9. Hispanics really don\’t like Obama. Formulate your own hypothesis as to why – but it\’s undeniable. That spells bad news for Obama in Texas, which he really needs to win to make up some ground.
10. Obama tended to win the states that traditionally vote Republican in the general election (Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Georgia, Alabama). I don\’t think this is a small point. In states with a weak, or nonexistent, Democratic party, Obama did well. In states with an entrenched Democratic bureaucracy, Hillary wins. This suggests that Clinton fares better among the more hard core activists.
11. On Monday night, John Kerry spoke at an Obama rally. He said that under President Obama, there would be no more Abu Ghraib. Listening to Kerry pronounce \”Abu Ghraib\” gave the listener a glimpse at what it might actually be like to be in Abu Ghraib. He mangled it, as if he had only ever seen the word in print. Wonder if he\’s ever gotten around to learning how to say \”Genghis Khan.\”
Also, it appears that one of Obama\’s big talking points is that he will \”close Guantanamo.\” I\’m not in the business of offering political advice, but I would suggest that Obama drops this as a talking point. There are terrorists in Guantanamo – and if they\’re not there, they\’re going to be somewhere else. Like living in the U.S. People understand that.
12. I watched Mike Huckabee shuffle from network to network to network doing interviews. And in each interview, he had a fresh observation or one-liner. I don\’t recall him repeating any of his points. Just a fantastic speaker.
13. I hadn\’t watched Chris Matthews probably since the 2004 elections (I never watch Hardball or the O\’Reilly Factor or any of those goofy shows). Now I remember why. I felt like I needed to keep a towel handy with him spitting at me so much.