Category Archives: Benjamin van der Horst

The Superdelegate Shuffle

By Jeremy Barr

In every election cycle, it seems that one or two previously unimportant procedural terms enter the popular lexicon. In 2000, it was “hanging chad” and “butterfly ballot.” In 2008, “superdelegates” have become one of the most talked about factors in the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Because neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama can mathematically win the Democratic nomination with purely pledged delegates, the 795 unpledged party officials and representatives known as superdelegates will make the difference.

Continue reading


McCain’s Great Day

By Benjamin van der Horst

On Tuesday, John McCain clinched the Republican nomination for the White House.  After losing in 2000 and being considered politically dead last summer, it was probably a great feeling for him to finally seal the deal.  On Wednesday, he received the endorsement President Bush, the very man who beat him eight years ago.  While both of these things are great, McCain got even better news on Tuesday:

Hillary Clinton beat Obama in Ohio and Texas.  Continue reading

Hillary is getting hammered (by the press)

By Benjamin van der Horst

The press, just like my colleague Jeremy Barr below, is starting to call for Hillary Clinton’s withdrawal from the race. Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter wrote a scathing column titled “Hillary Should Get Out Now.” He argues that this is her last chance for a graceful exit and for her own political future should get out of the race, despite the fact that personally Alter would love for the race to go on. He writes:

Withdrawing would be stupid if Hillary had a reasonable chance to win the nomination, but she doesn’t…Hillary has only one shot—for Obama to trip up so badly that he disqualifies himself. Nothing in the last 14 months suggests he will.

But Alter is not the only one being critical of Hillary. Continue reading

The Other Side of John McCain


By Benjamin van der Horst

The New York Times is running a damming 2,800 word article about Senator John McCain’s his past ties with lobbyists in Thursday’s edition. Even though the McCain campaign has called it “tabloid journalism” it seems to be meticulously researched with four reporters on the byline and two additional researchers listed. Regardless of if the main implication of the article is true–that McCain had an affair with a lobbyist in 2000 and then tried to intervene on behalf of her clients–it shows a very different side of the crusader against lobbyists and special interests we have come to known. Continue reading

Is Clinton making the same mistake as Giuliani?

By Benjamin van der Horst

Barack Obama had a clean sweep yesterday winning Washington, Louisiana, and Nebraska by large margins. He could very well win every contest between now and March 4 (when Ohio and Texas, among others vote). That would mean Hillary Clinton would have gone almost a month without a victory. Her campaign is being dismissive of these losses claiming that Obama is expected to win in these states. This may be true, but you cannot just dismiss all of these states. They are still real states with real delegates and Hillary’s loses are very much real.

She is waiting for March 4, when she feels she can win Ohio and Texas, the two largest states left. Because she is focusing on these states, she claims not to care about these loses. This is the exactly same strategy Rudy Giuliani pursued before he dropped out of the race. Continue reading

Why Hillary should be scared


By Benjamin van der Horst

Super Tuesday was the day that Hillary Clinton was supposed to seal her victory over Barack Obama and sail into the general election. Well that was three weeks ago. Instead, on Tuesday, Obama won more states (14 versus 8 ) and even more delegates than Hillary, despite the fact that HRC won the big prizes of New York and California.

Since Tuesday, Obama has raised over six million dollars online. Hillary has loaned her campaign five million dollars. He raised almost 20 million more than her in January. Obama now has a fundraising edge going into the next primaries. Futhermore, most of Obama’s donors have given in small amounts, so they can continue to give. Most of HRC’s donors have given much more, meaning they cannot give her more since there are limits on donations. But money is not her only problem. Continue reading

Does Obama Have the Momentum?


By Benjamin van der Horst

By all accounts Barack Obama is on a roll. He slaughtered Hillary Clinton in South Carolina on Saturday, beating her by more votes than she received (55% to 27%). He won every income category and every county except two. It was a rout. And now Caroline Kennedy (JFK’s daughter) has endorsed him in a New York Times op-ed titled “A President Like My Father.” This powerful op-ed will certainly help Obama by allowing the Kennedy comparisons to have more merit. But even more important, today Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) endorsed Obama throwing the weight of the most powerful Democratic Senator behind Obama. Continue reading