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Posts published in “Day: August 16, 2007”

“Hillary Would Lose Oregon”

The matter of electibility - as a key qualifier in choosing a party's presidential nominee - took a beating nationally in 2004, when Democrats nominated the man they were less excited about but who they thought stood the best chance of winning. Didn't work out so well.

That doesn't mean the question is pointless, and in fact the choice of nominee does often affect election day arithmetic. But opinions will differ, and they certainly do in response to the provocative Daily Kos post out today (from the anonymous pdxattorney) called "Hillary would lose Oregon."

He quotes Rasmussen research as saying: "If New York Senator Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee in Election 2008, it may take some work to keep Oregon in the Democratic column--51% of the state’s voters currently have an unfavorable opinion of the Democratic frontrunner. In general election Match-ups with top Republican candidates, the Oregon landscape looks very competitive. Clinton currently trails Arizona Senator John McCain by three percentage points. The former First Lady holds a statistically insignificant single point edge over both Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thomson while leading Mitt Romney by five."

(We should note this too: Whoever is pdxattorney, he or she has a track record of Hillary Clinton criticism. Of the eight previous diaries listed on Kos, four are Clinton-critical: "Hillary Proudly Emulates GWB," "They'll Get Hillary thru Bill," "Hillary is the 'Reformer with Results'," and "The Problem is Hillary's People.")

Oregon has voted for the Democrat for president in every election 1988 to present, an indicator of what it may do next year. On the other hand, some of those Democratic wins were close. And in a general election, Clinton has a problem: She isn't beloved by the base - she'd have some difficulty getting it properly roused up - but she is an object of horror and fury on the other side, guaranteeing a powerfully revved opposition.

You can find a full range of viewpoints on this, including some interesting poll numbers and some sharp analysis (along with the other kind), in a couple of places, one at the Kos post noted above, the other at a post on Blue Oregon. Most immediately striking in both partisan Democratic locations is the meager amount of support and sympathy the generally described frontrunner for the Democratic nomination gets from fellow Democrats. (Our take is that this is an indicator of potential rough times ahead for the Clinton candidacy, but that's another matter.)

Part of the system, or part of the society

We'll here latch on to some commentary concerning journalistic coverage of Boise State University sports for our for-instance, but the points involved are a lot broader - into politics, government and elsewhere. The subject matter has to do with the institutionalized role that mass media - newspapers, radio, television, wire services - have, as opposed to, say, web sites, blogs and reader boards.

And why a BSU decision to shut reporters out of some practice sessions may be a good thing.

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To make them do it

There's not a lot you can do to compel a legislative body to do something, a problem education advocates have wrestled with in Idaho and that advocates of expanding the judiciary at Spokane are encountering now.

In 2002, the Washington Legislature passed a bill that included a provision for increasing the number of Spokane County district judges from nine to 10; local legislators and a number of local government officials had asked for the increase. Formal establishment of the position, and the formal action to pay for it, rests with the Spokane County Commission, which (following an advisory committee decision) declined to approve language doing either. A local attorney challenged that decision: The legislature had, after all, approved the position.

In Delaney v. Board of Spokane County Commissioners, out today, the Washington Supreme Court said the commissioners couldn't be forced to create or pay for the new position, and that they had authority not to.