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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Going Tonya Harding

I caught a piece on the morning show that I listen to that sent me over to ABC to find out what's going on with the Democrats.

Jack Tapper has a piece up on Political Punch that says DNC insiders are starting to whisper that the Clinton's are finding that throwing everything, including the kitchen sink at Barack Obama isn't getting them where they want to be, nominated. Therefore, according to Tapper's unnamed source, they are looking at the "Tonya Harding Option". In other words, whacking him in the knees so hard he can't compete.

Evidently, Hillary still wants to be the nominee, though her chances are small. To that end, her folks are supposedly looking for enough dirt to make Obama toxic come November.

Good Morning America's home page has a big piece up (also written by Tapper) on how other Democrats are worried about such a scenario. They are starting to see McCain's numbers rise, and the bad blood boil into crossover votes for him from the loser of such a fight. Gallup's polls* show that if Obama got the nomination 28% of Clinton supporters say they'd vote McCain, and 19% of Obama supporters would do the same if Hillary is nominated.

Those are the types of numbers that can't be ignored. No matter what percentage of independents or undecideds you get, losing 10-15% of the party base would be the death blow to the Democrats chances in November.

One outcome of such a fight could end up being a brokered convention, where Florida Congressman Tim Mahoney has suggested Al Gore could be put on the top of the ticket with the survivor of the Clinton Obama melee as the second.

While many see Gore as the White Knight who, on his Prius Powered Horse, would save the party the truth is Gore is damaged goods already. Add to that McCain is a global warming believer, and shares many Democrat's views on things like Guantanamo and immigration you'd have taxes end up being the big issue of difference. Name the last "tax more people" candidate that won the election. Better, ask Walter Mondale how that position works.

If the Democrats want the White House back this fall, the two candidates need to start playing a little nicer. Their toxic stew of accusations and half truths is turning off their own party base, and the independents they need to get the keys to 1600 Pennsylvania.

*corrected to say Gallup instead of Rassmussen. there are too damn many pollsters out there

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