2008 Democratic Election, Walking, Injury, Boxing and assorted topics

Today is day one of my spring vacation. I admit that I made an error after getting the flu; on my comeback I cut down on the number of miles (that is good) but I did them all faster (not good) and my left hip/piriformis/bike crash area is singing to me, though it appears to be in a “muscle ache” way. I am not getting any serious down the leg tingles, but the muscle is sore.

So, some gentle “hiking” or even some jogging might be ok. Strangely enough, 5 miles at 12 minutes per mile was harder than the 10 miles on the tough McNaugton course. I am finding out that I need the yoga/cross training/days off in my schedule.

So, I’ll do something over lunch; I haven’t decided on whether it will be swimming, walking, jogging or even an easy yoga class at noon.

But I’ve found that I need the mix of cross training (swimming, cycling, fast walking, longer slow walking, trails, perhaps a bit of speedwork (maybe once a week) and even trail running. I can’t stick with just one thing and get away with it.

This post is somewhat long and rambling. Therefore, I’ll put a list of topics that I discuss and/or link to.

1. Personal observations of Barack Obama (by those who have met him, including my wife)
2. Mathematics; part of what I am thinking about and of elections. The phenomena of “well, Clinton beat Obama in the primary in this state, yet Obama runs better against McCain in that same state” is explained.
3. Boxing: some youtube videos of some famous heavyweights, including Ali, Frazier, Foreman, Tyson, Holmes, Cooney and Norton.
4. Democratic race 2008: the animosity between Democrats.
5. Democratic race 2008: Obama is held to a different standard than most when it comes to religion (e. g., he is pillared for the dumb things said by his pastor, yet others get a pass from the pastors that they embrace).

1. Personal note about Barack Obama (more on the race later)

Here is a Daily Kos diary about someone (dawnt) who talked to Obama before he was famous. I’ll add something that my wife told me (she had lunch with him when he visited the Peoria Rotary Club back in 2004; it wasn’t “one on one” but rather she sat at a table of 6 and he was at the same table)

when he visited her Rotary Club (Peoria North) back in 2004; he sat at her table. At the time, he was a long shot to win the D Senate Primary.

What she remembers: he had started to talk to some high school students (that usually attend as guests) and Ray LaHood (R, IL-18) came up to speak with him. Instead of dissing the students, Obama said “Ray, I’ll be with you in a minute” and kept talking to the high school students.

More on the political race later.

2. Mathematics Here is a nice easy to understand summary of some of the stuff that I am thinking about. I am also thinking about the mathematics of voting; one gets some interesting things happening if there are more than 2 people left in the race. The following article explains how one might get the following kind of result: “Clinton beat Obama in the primary, but Obama does better against McCain in that state”, or visa versa. The article is by poblano of the Daily Kos.

It might help to abstract the situation and consider the rest of the electoral cycle from the perspective of Instant Runoff Voting. Suppose you asked each voter to rank her choices — Clinton, Obama and McCain — from one to three. There are six possible permutations — and each of them can reasonably be associated with one or another demographic group, or at least a stereotype thereof.

1. Clinton-Obama-McCain. These are likely to be the choices of mainline, establishment Democratic voters, especially women, Hispanics, and working-class voters outside of the South. If you look at the choices of Democratic voters so far in the primaries, they form a sort of donut hole: Obama does better among voters on the far left, and he also does better among moderates and independents. But Clinton does better with the “median”, more traditional Democratic voter in the middle of the donut.

2. Obama-Clinton-McCain. The most likely order of preference for blacks, young voters, and progressives and other “latte liberals”.

3. Clinton-McCain-Obama. This ordering may be fairly common among two groups: Southern Baptsits and other evangelical Democrats, and some older voters.

4. Obama-McCain-Clinton. Probably a common ranking for independents, as well as some anti-establishment (and anti-Clinton) voters to the left and center of the political spectrum.

5. McCain-Clinton-Obama. According to Mark Blumenthal, this was a common ordering in Mississippi. A lot of Republicans may have voted tactically in the Democratic primary — but unless they were lying to exit pollsters, it also appears that they genuinely preferred Clinton to Obama as their #2 choice. I think we’d find the majority of social conservatives in this group, especially in the South, as well many national security conservatives, and a significant minority of suburban women.

6. McCain-Obama-Clinton. On the other hand, I’d guess that most economic conservatives and many libertarians end up here, and certainly most right-leaning independents; also perhaps some anti-Bush and anti-war Republicans.

So, these are the six fundamental classes of voters. Of course, you could get more technical than this if you’d like. For example, we’ve neglected those voters who might vote for one and only one candidate; I suspect the decision rule for some black voters, for instance, is “Vote Obama, otherwise sit out”.

The author goes on to show different tables which breaks down, say, Mississippi and Pennsylvania into different subgroups which would explain both the primary results and the polling for the general election. If you like the mathematics of it all, I’ll point you toward an internet article which has many good references.

3. Boxing: last night I decided to watch some old fights on youtube.

Joe Frazier against Jimmy Ellis; note the movement that Frazier has.

Ali-Frazier I, rounds 10-11. Watch round 11.

Tyson Biggs: the end

Mike Tyson-Lenix Lewis.

Watch this: 45 year old George Foreman knocks out Michael Moorer to win the championship! Look at how short the knockout punch is. Incredible! Note that Moorer was dominating the fight and the round.

George Cooney-Larry Holmes.


Norton-Holmes Probably the best finish to a heavyweight fight. Holmes won a split decision by 1 point.

4. Speaking of Boxing: what about the Democratic 2008 race?

Well, this election has strained the relations between many “rank and file” Democrats (not just my sister and I!) SeattleforObama has quoted an interesting article

At the lunch after Clinton’s loss in Virginia, Alicia Knight, 49, a Hillary supporter, came in late. The only spare chair was between two Obama supporters, both old friends of Knight’s. “I was so angry, I didn’t want to sit between them, so I sat by myself at another table,” she says. “It’s become like the cold war: in order to maintain the relationship, you don’t talk to each other.” Recently, the Clinton and Obama groups began lunching separately. “We couldn’t take the bashing, the smirkiness of the Obama fans,” says Linda Berkoff, 63.

It’s unclear exactly when the primaries stopped being a joyous occasion for the Democrats. But as the weeks have ground on, the intensity between Democrats who disagree has calcified, the vitriol grown fiercer. According to exit polling in the Texas primary, 91 percent of Clinton supporters said they would be dissatisfied with Obama as the nominee; 87 percent of Obama fans said they would be dissatisfied with Clinton. Nationally, a quarter of those who back Clinton say they’d vote for John McCain if Obama won the nomination (while just 10 percent of Obama supporters would do the same if he lost).

For many Democrats, what started out as a glowing opportunity for a historic presidency has become a depressing display of division and anger trumping reason. Because the policy differences between Clinton and Obama are minor, the debate is not about substance; it’s been mainly about character and identity in a contest between a black man and a white woman. […]

But clearly there is something more than this going on.

Women have attacked each other too; mostly the younger feminists versus the older ones:

At a Washington reception last month for a well-known national women’s organization, the chair of the board asked Maureen McFadden, a communications executive with the organization, which candidate she’d voted for in the recent primary. McFadden, hoping to avoid an awkward moment, answered that she’d voted by absentee ballot. The board chair pressed ahead, “Did you vote for a boy or a girl?”

“I paused for a long time,” says McFadden. “Then I told her I voted for a boy–I wasn’t going to lie.” McFadden, who has worked on women’s issues for twenty years, says the room went silent and the board chair chastised her. “It was clear that I had betrayed feminism by voting for Obama. It became obvious–if you didn’t vote for Hillary, you were less than a feminist and only marginally a woman.”

It’s no secret that Clinton’s candidacy has caused waves in feminist circles. Media outlets from the Wall Street Journal to the Washington Post have reported on the rift between feminists voting for Clinton and those supporting Obama. Blogs have weighed in, and feminist listservs are aflame. As a feminist blogger and writer, I’ve been watching the tension unfold–but with no great surprise. This election “rift,” far from being a new wrinkle in a feminist utopia, is a fairly predictable response from a movement already disunited. The Clinton-Obama divide has shone a spotlight on feminism’s dirty little not-so secret: the movement’s longstanding power imbalance, in which a few organizations and leaders decide what counts as an acceptable platform. Indeed, feminist support for Clinton–coming from the usual suspects like the National Organization for Women (NOW), EMILY’s List, Gloria Steinem and former Ms. magazine editor Robin Morgan–has been organized, strong and far-reaching. What’s been less than savvy, however, is the reaction some feminist Clinton supporters have expressed toward their Obama-endorsing cohorts. I’ve seen Obama supporters called everything from naïve to traitors to the cause, and the majority of this ire has come from mainstream professional feminists. […]

And there are those who are worried that this infighting will hand McCain an easy victory; we forget how good of a candidate McCain is at our peril.

What is going on? For me, much of it is simply this:

I’m sorry; she doesn’t have “35 years of experience”. Much of what she claims as “experience” is bogus.

On March 6 Hillary Clinton claimed that, unlike Barack Obama, she and likely Republican nominee John McCain have “cross[ed] the commander-in-chief threshold.” In a CNN interview the day before, Clinton had listed five foreign policy accomplishments. We can’t determine how much behind-the-scenes work Clinton did while first lady, and she certainly took an active interest in foreign policy when her husband was president. Moreover, her time as first lady plus her longer Senate career do give Clinton more foreign policy experience than Obama. But the public record of her actions shows that many of Clinton’s foreign policy claims are exaggerated.

* Clinton claims to have “negotiated open borders” in Macedonia to fleeing Kosovar refugees. But the Macedonian border opened a full day before she arrived, and her meetings with Macedonian officials were too brief to allow for much serious negotiating.

* Clinton’s activities “helped bring peace to Northern Ireland.” Irish officials are divided as to how helpful Clinton’s actions were, and key players agree that she was not directly involved in any actual negotiations.

* Clinton has repeatedly referenced her “dangerous” trip to Bosnia. She fails to mention, however, that the Bosnian war had officially ended three months before her visit – or that she made the trip with her 16-year-old daughter and two entertainers.

* Both Bill and Hillary Clinton claim that Hillary privately championed the use of U.S. troops to stop the genocide in Rwanda. That conversation left no public record, however, as U.S. policy was explicitly to stay out of Rwanda, and officials say that the use of U.S. troops was never considered.

* Clinton’s tough speech on human rights delivered to a Beijing audience is as advertised, though Clinton herself has been dismissive of speeches that aren’t backed by solutions.

True, all candidates (even Obama) exaggerate their accomplishments and pander. But it appears that Clinton supporters are outraged when you question her campaign BS or point out that it is spread wide and deep; unusually wide and deep.

And frankly, much of Clinton’s support comes from a “dammit it is her turn” mentality. No one should be getting a “turn” at being president, but it appears to me that many people think that way.

5. Now what about Obama? In an effort to keep running as the clean candidate, he has been extremely wide open and transparent about his Rezko dealings. I know that he has caught flack for some of the stuff his pastor has said; interestingly enough Republicans seem to be held to a much lower standard.

Yet, Brother Richard points out that certain other candidates did not have to go through this much trouble to explain away things their religion believed or religious supporters said.

I ask you, did Limbaugh and Hannity dedicate entire shows repudiating Mitt Romney due to the Mormon Church’s racist views against our darker skin brothers and sisters? No. In fact, it was proclaimed to be a violation of Romney’s first amendment rights. It was bigotry to even question his association.

To be fair, Romney did get questioned about this by other sources, but his explanations were unsatisfactory. Still, no one pressed him on it any further.

Brother Richard has another example:

When it was revealed that Billy Graham made anti-Semitic statements in a private conversation with Richard Nixon, did anyone demand Graham no longer associate with Presidents? Of course not, he is still called “America’s Pastor,” and has counseled every President since.

If you want some more background on this, there’s a video included in the article.

Many conservatives have credited Jerry Falwell and his “moral majority” for the election of Ronald Reagan. When he and Pat Robertson made their despicable remarks concerning September 11th, the media brought attention to their lunacy, but did anyone use it to disavow Reagan’s legacy? Did anyone demand that the “conservative movement” reject these buffoons? Of course not…

When Pat Robertson endorsed Rudy Giuliani, did the “talking heads” scream and demand that Giuliani deny and denounce all the idiotic and evil sermons of Rev. Robertson? No…

Recently, theist wacko John Hagee gave his endorsement to John McCain. There was very little condemnation in the press, and the “Righteous Right” was satisfied with McCain’s statement that the endorsement didn’t mean that he (McCain) supported every thing Hagee believed. This apparently was enough for Limbaugh and Hannity, so they didn’t need to dedicate much time to this fiasco…

So why does Obama have to explain away something his pastor said during sermons at which Obama was not even present?

Go to the linked article to get the links to the articles and videos noted.


March 17, 2008 - Posted by | hiking, hillary clinton, injury, mathematics, mccain, obama, politics/social, republicans, walking


  1. I love my brother, very much. Would I attend an Obama rally with him…probably not. Having seen both candidates speak in person I did find Obama to be a inspirational speaker and very articulate but I felt no connection with him like I did Hillary who was very down to earth with her audience making us (at least me) feel like we were in a comfy coffee home style conversation with her. I don’t think she should be president beause ‘it’s her turn’ but because I believe in her ideas to get our country back to where it should be and also I simply just like her much more than I do Obama. So sue me. I am not one of those who will pout (at least not a lot) and refuse to vote for the Obama ticket should he get the nod…after all I’m a life long democrat and used to dissapointment in political races.

    Comment by Rose | March 17, 2008 | Reply

  2. Sis, I wasn’t talking about you.

    Scroll down to “family’s split decision”.

    You see LOTS of that in many places.

    Given any two somewhat different candidates, you are always going to have honest differences of opinions. What is happening among many D’s is deeper than that.

    Comment by blueollie | March 17, 2008 | Reply

  3. In Pierce County, Washington, the County Executive race will be run using Ranked Choice Voting. There will be two Democrats (one woman, one man) on the general elecgtion ballot in November. In addition, there will be a Republican and an independent.

    The parallels with the current situation in the Presidential race make the Pierce County Executive race very interesting indeed.

    Comment by Leon0112 | March 18, 2008 | Reply

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