Chuck Todd: Brightest Guy in the Room? (UPDATED)

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If you're not reading MSNBC's Chuck Todd every day, you're missing a lot:

  • The calendar’s influence: Would Clinton have won California, Florida and Michigan by the margins she did had those primaries been held after Super Tuesday (February 5)? Same for South Carolina: would Obama's blowout have captured everyone's imagination the same way if that primary had happened on the same day as all the other primaries of Super Tuesday?
  • Veepstakes: Dems pick Chuck Hagel; GOP picks Joe Lieberman? Stranger things have happened.
  • The magic numbers: Speaking of VPs, is it possible that the last vital chunk of superdelegates that Obama needs will delay endorsing until they receive his assurance that he'll pick Hillary as his VP? [see Update, below.]
  • That Kennedy brand: First Edwards was the new Bobby Kennedy. Then Obama was the new Jack Kennedy. Is it now possible that Hillary will be the new Ted Kennedy?
  • A tale of two states: Obama doesn’t have a problem with white working-class voters (e.g., Oregon). Instead, he has a problem with white-working class voters in Appalachian Kentucky.

And this was all just this morning. Seriously, you have to read this guy. He's very good.

UPDATE: Going back to that third bullet point above about Hillary and the superdelegates...I have no idea whether there are enough supers that can block Obama and shill for Hillary, but let's (for a moment) say there were. If you were Obama, and you had a choice between having Hillary on the outside of the tent, um, spitting in or Hillary on the inside spitting out, which one would you choose? Remember: two-thirds of all vice presidents never ascended to the presidency. In other words, what better way to neutralize her ambition than by putting her on the ticket? And another thing -- while it's good to keep your friends close, what you really need to do is keep your enemies closer.

Food for thought.

What do you think?


Mark Adams Author Profile Page said:

# The calendar’s influence: Would it have worked out the same? No.

# Veepstakes: Stranger things have happened? No.

# The magic numbers: No, they were too cowardly to endorse so far, they're too chicken to make such a demand and have no backbone to back it up.

# That Kennedy brand: Hillary will be the new Ted Kennedy? She'll try, and fail. No Kennedy was ever capable of pandering as much as a Clinton.

# A tale of two states: Obama has a problem with inbred hillbilly bigots.

shep Author Profile Page said:

Certainly, Todd is the brightest guy in the broadcast booth (perhaps, next to Olbermann). Otherwise, though, that's not saying very much.

Both Todd and Jim Webb have made convincing arguments about the culture of the descendants of the original Scotts-Irish settlers of Appalachia but neither have convincingly ruled out that anti-black racism plays a role in that culture. Webb suggested that it has to do with suspicion of outsiders and power-elites but that doesn't really explain why they would flock from Clinton to McCain if their other choice was Obama. That said, he was convinced that if they got to know Obama, they would vote for him, so maybe it all comes down the a sense of familiarity (we'll see).

Obama is going to have to offer the Clintons a deal but it's hard to know what they want beside help retiring campaign debt. I doubt that Hillary wants the veep slot - though she might want to be asked - so that leaves only a few possibilities since there are few jobs more powerful and prestigious than US Senator. Senate Majority Leader? SCOTUS?

Barring some disaster for Obama, the superdels have to back him. Anything else would be a disaster for the party.

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