Jeff Koopersmith dissects pundit professor Larry Sabato's latest intellectual atrocity.
April 30, 2008 – Washington (apj.us) – Larry Sabato, the University of Virginia’s well-self-styled expert on American politics, outdistanced himself this week in an op-ed piece that “explains” why he believes that Hillary Clinton cannot gain the Democratic nomination for president.
I've always wondered about Sabato.
He is peculiar in an assortment of ways, and really was not taken as seriously as a political analyst as he might have been until this election cycle. Still, he isn't a "first stringer" guest on the usual talk-politics-newsertainment shows that we must endure every weekend and most weeknights since Clinton and Obama have put some spice back into the process.
However, like the standard media-weasel, Sabato first compliments Clinton, calling her tough, with stamina, and persistent – and then asks, "If super-delegates back Hillary Clinton – will they alienate loyal black voters?"
I ask, loyal to whom? Alienate who?
Sabato does not make it clear what he means by "loyal black voters" yet the rest of his piece makes it unambiguous that he means "loyal to Barack Obama" because Senator Obama is a black American.
This is more than troublesome inasmuch as few politicians have supported black American and black African causes more than the Clintons.
That aside, Mr. Sabato comes next to the question of "the popular vote." Sabato believes that this argument often made by Clinton's people should be "shelved" although Mrs. Clinton is unlikely to overcome Obama's putative lead in the weeks ahead. He believes that Clinton is not ahead in the popular vote – but the issue is truly that there is no indicative “popular vote meter” for primary elections.
I thus agree that the popular vote argument for either Obama or Clinton should be trashed – not because Hillary Clinton has no chance to overcome Obama – but because in primaries the number of people who vote one way or the other is pretty near a rubbish dimension of anything but what the most politically active nuts in America will do.
The vast, overwhelming, tidal wave majority of Americans do not vote in primaries.
Whether Obama gets more votes than Clinton in primaries and caucuses is principally a measure of his GOTV (get out the vote) operation, not his lure or lack thereof.
It is clear to me that Mrs. Clinton, early on, had one of the worst ground operations in election history.
This has improved recently, but key states were lost for her because of this frailty.
Whenever it counted to move Clinton "bodies" to the polls, or to the stinking "caucus" gymnasium her people seem to have failed her.
Yet moving bodies is not the measure of a president either – especially not in this era where it seems that everything about the American and Western lifestyle is "up for grabs" or under attack.