Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Upcoming Primaries, Superdelegates, And Michelle Obama Interview (Monday's Show)

Hi everybody. Happy new week! I would have preferred my week to start off with a little less ice. There's nothing like driving down the highway and passing car after car that's slid off to the side. White knuckle time! But now I am warm and toasty at home and we're kicking things off with a rundown on what the candidates did on the trail today. Anderson Cooper then throws to a Candy Crowley piece on the continued Obama versus Clinton race. The story of the day is Obamamentum! He had a pretty victorious weekend and is poised to do well in Tuesday's primaries. And Clinton would prefer that everyone just shut up about it. Her press isn't exactly as good, with Candy noting she "threw her campaign manager overboard for a new one." Except I'm not sure that's what happened. I mean, she's still with the campaign, so I wouldn't call that thrown overboard.

Next up, we have Tom Foreman in front of a map and he breaks down all the delegates that are up for grabs. It's nice to see Tom getting to play with maps again, though I'm sure John never lets him touch the special magic map. From here we go to an episode of "Political Squares" (doesn't it look like "Hollywood Squares" sometimes?) with the squares being occupied by Candy Crowley Roland Martin, Bay Buchanan, and John King. They begin by talking about the shake-up in the Clinton campaign, with Candy pointing the finger of blame at too many messages and their money situation. John tells us some democrats are actually comparing Clinton to Bush's tendency to surround himself with "yes" men. Oh, ouch. A comparison to Bush is way harsh. They then talk a bit about how caucus states tend to favor Obama, but the panel doesn't really tackle the issue deeply. A friend pointed me to this Kevin Drum article that looks at caucuses and it's worth discussion. There's a good argument to be made that caucusing disenfranchises the working class and older voters.

Coming back from commercial, we get a snippet of Chelsea Clinton campaigning for her mom. Weird. It doesn't really seem possible to know of someone for so long, but never really hear her talk before. Anyway, then we're back to the panel and after some more Obama/Clinton talk, they tackle the other side of the aisle. Math will inevitably crown McCain the nominee (sorry Huckabee), but the question is whether or not conservatives will actually vote for him. Bay has her theories, but eh, what does anyone know? My guess is they'll bluster for months and then slink into the polls holding their noses come November. I'm starting to get the picture these people won't be happy unless we reanimate Reagan.

Transitioning now to our newest contender trying out to be the "Voice of 360." Fran Drescher! Oh my bleeding ears! I don't know, Fran, it's going to be hard to beat Ozzy. There's something about the fact that he clearly had no idea where he was, which really brought the performance to another level. You know, I think the funniest thing about this whole bit are the people freaking out about it on the blog because they inexplicably think it's for real. It's called deadpan sarcasm, people. It's all the rage with the kids these days. But anyway, on now to tonight's "What Were They Thinking?" which is not really a "What Were They Thinking?" at all, but just an excuse to run adorable video from the Internets. AC360 Review is very pro-adorable video, so that's not a complaint. In the too-cute-for-words clip, we meet brothers Harry and Charlie, and learn it's best to keep appendages away from Charlie's mouth. Also? That accent!

Moving on now to a Tom Foreman piece on superdelegates. Okay, so basically there are about 800 of these superdelegates and their votes count more than yours and mine and...I don't like it! Right now all the superdelegates I've heard on television (which granted, has been like three) are talking about how they don't want to choose and maybe they'll vote how their state did and...yada yada yada. BS. You know there's going to be arm twisting and bribes and, again, I'm not thrilled.

After Tom, we go back to our panel and they discuss the superdelegate situation. The conventional wisdom is that Clinton has the upper hand if it get decided this way, but Roland reminds us that two-thirds are undecided. Other factors that might have a big influence on the outcome of the race is an Edwards endorsement, which seems to be forthcoming. And then there's Florida and Michigan. They were stripped of their delegates, disenfranchising their voters. There's been some talk of reversing that decision, which obviously Clinton would be in favor of, given that she "won" the states. Bay starts talking about all the back-room deals the Clintons would be doing if this thing goes all the way to the convention. "Wait a minute. Doesn't everyone -- in all fairness, doesn't everyone do back room deals? I mean, these are politicians, after all," says Anderson. See people, he's trying to be fair. I've been hearing a lot of anti-Clinton bias accusations, is all I'm saying. Anyway, then Roland notes that African Americans are feeling slighted by the Clinton campaign and there's a risk of them staying home from the polls. Hey, nobody stays home! We didn't just go through seven years of hell (and one to go) to screw this up now.

Next up, we have a John King piece on Huckabee. Math is not Huckabee's friend, but he doesn't seem to notice. He's staying in this race as long as the race will have him. You gotta kind of admire the tenacity. You know, after you've shuddered at the crazy. From here we go into clips of Michelle Obama on Larry King. I haven't seen much of her until recently, but I think she'd make a good first lady. She's poised, but also real, if that makes sense. I have nothing against Laura Bush (other than her husband, of course), but she always came off a little Stepford to me. Kinda harsh, yeah, but I don't have a better description.

Gary Tuchman has our headlines tonight and we learn that, oh noes, BlackBerry service went down today. Gary and Anderson's lives were thrown into complete disarray! It's a miracle they made it to work. "My name is Anderson Cooper, and I'm addicted to my BlackBerry," says Anderson. Well, I hope they didn't get the shakes too bad. The Shot tonight is a fiery crash that happened during a drag race at the Winter Nationals competition. The dude survived with only second degree burns and singed eyelashes. Not bad. Gary says you need to be extra careful when going 290 miles per hour. "A lot of experience of that, do you? " asks Anderson. "On the West Side Highway in Manhattan. I tried to do that regularly when I was in New York," says Gary. So that's who almost ran over me when I was in New York. Kidding. "When I look at you, I see Gary 'Drag Racer' Tuchman. No doubt about it," says Anderson. Totally. Hey, he does roller-blade and run marathons--you never know.

So apparently the blogging experiment continues. I'm assuming they're still working out the whole moderating thing. For a week or two things were just automatically going through (which I decided not to mention, lest the Ron Paul supporters find out and reap vengeance for the debates-heh) and things really picked up, but now they're back to a situation that will actually dissuade comments if they're not careful. What I mean is that people are more likely to post if they know their comments will go through. Anderson mentioned in the blog tonight that he liked it when people talked to each other. I'm assuming this is ultimately what they want since it's what will bring them a lot of hits (which seems to be the point), but with the moderation like it is now, it's almost impossible to hold a conversation. At first I thought they were just trying to slow the comments down, so Anderson wasn't all, "Ahh!!" But it seems the moderator was just overwhelmed.

I'm not sure exactly what they're moderating for anyway and find it hard to believe they're getting read by the mod all that closely. If it's obscenity they're worried about they could just get a filter. I used to post frequently at an entertainment board years ago that had one of those. Comments would post automatically, taking out any bad words, and then the mods would take care of other stuff (like insults, copyright violations) later when they had the time. Except for having to strike variations of the word "assume" from my vocabulary during posting, it worked out pretty well. Or another suggestion would be to just have everyone that wants to participate sign up with Word Press. Comments can post automatically and troublemakers can be banned. So anyway, hopefully they're still tinkering because I know people are a little frustrated. I think once everyone gets their bearings it could be really fun. The show was very politics heavy tonight. B


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