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January 11, 2008

Obama Derangement Syndrome Takes Over

This is starting to get a bit scary. As Glenn Reynolds commented the other day, all is proceeding as Jonah Goldberg foresaw:

Imagine the Democrats do rally around Obama. Imagine the media invests as heavily in him as I think we all know they will if he's the nominee — and then imagine he loses. I seriously think certain segments of American political life will become completely unhinged.

All it took was one lousy loss in a primary, for Pete's sake, and herds of deranged, cannibalistic polar bears have begun roaming the Arctic Circle, the poor citizens of Baghdad are being terrorized by mysterious foreign objects falling from the sky, George Will is gushing like a schoolgirl, and Chris Matthews' has been abducted and impregnated by aliens (OK, so that's nothing new).

What is it about Obama that seems to get people's pantyhose all in a wad? NRO's MediaBlog points to a USA Today article that indicates there's good evidence that NH voters may have simply changed their minds:

Which leads us to the second category of explanations for the disconnect between the pre-election poll results on the Democratic side and the actual voting. New Hampshire Democratic voters may have confounded us pollsters by actually changing their minds in the days and hours leading up to their vote. This is unusual. In most pre-election environments, voter statements of their vote intentions in the days before an election are good indicators of how they actually vote. But last minute changes do occur, which is why Gallup usually interviews the final Monday night before the national presidential election (but not typically, or this year specifically, in New Hampshire).

There was a tremendous interest in this election among New Hampshire voters this year, as demonstrated by the record high turnout. This high level of interest suggests that voters may have been closely attuned to election events in the final days before the election, which in turn may them more likely to be affected by such events.

The most obvious such event on the Democratic side was the extraordinary and very frequently aired video of Hillary Clinton’s personal, emotional, “verge of tears” response to a female voter's question on Monday. At this juncture, it is impossible to determine the actual impact of this event on Democratic voting behavior, but it is not at all unreasonable to assume that it did cause some voters, including women voters, to change their minds about voting for Clinton. There was also the Saturday night Democratic debate, which allowed Democratic voters to contrast and compare Clinton and Obama side by side, and which may also have generated some changes of opinion among voters.

Ah, but it's so much more reasonable to allege racism and throw a hissy fit when events don't turn out like you anticipate:

The MoveOn-"don't taze me bro" crowd is still convinced the election was stolen from John Kerry. If Obama loses, people like Greenwald and Ezra Klein will hurl their Ikea throw-pillows with unbridled rage.

Come to think of it, there seems to be a lot of that sort of thing going around lately...

Watched the NH returns with some friends last night, and something quite unexpected happened when the AP called it for Clinton -- inexplicable ANGER. I was surrounded by people in their early 30's, registered Democrats, receptive to the Clintons in the 90's, and I swear I thought someone was going to throw their wine glass at the tube during her 'victory' speech.

What in the hell is wrong with these people? Don't they realize these are just primaries? I'm just waiting for Mike Huckabee to appear on national TV and drink the wine of God's fury...

I don't know about you people, but my fun meter is about pegged.

Posted by Cassandra at January 11, 2008 08:37 AM

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Somebody else pointed out that the elections are for the country, not just for Ohio and NH.

Not only the Obamistas - you should see the howling from the Paulistas. They're claiming massive election fraud, voting machine rigging, and interference from the Council on Foreign Relations. (I'm just waiting for the Trilateral Commission to get blamed.)

One thing I'd like to see are transcipts of the debates, so I can find out exactly what they said. TV-watching is too time-consuming.

The "record high turnout" in NH is probably a result of their "anybody can vote" (cf "Ratatouille") policy.

More than that, do we hold the elections only to validate the polls? Some suspicious persons have tried to claim that people aren't always honest with pollsters.

Posted by: ZZMike at January 11, 2008 03:23 PM

The only thing that frightens me more than a lachrymose president is that people actually change their minds in favor of one.

Posted by: Daveg at January 11, 2008 05:56 PM

It's going to be an interesting campaign season, to be sure...

Posted by: camojack at January 12, 2008 01:28 AM

What's going to be real interesting is that the Obamists apparently don't know a thing about his political career in Illinois. State Sen. Obama and Sen. Obama has pretty much been a creature of the Combine in Illinois and has had very little to do with "change". He also has done a deal for part of the land his house was on with a very sleazy local Democratic Party-linked political operative named Rezcko, of whom we'll most likely read more about as the indictments of the Chicago Democratic party move forward. Just in time for the elections as well. It'll be a big laugh when Obama tries to claim he didn't know anything about Rezcko's reputation, etc.

Posted by: RonF at January 14, 2008 01:05 PM