Comments on: 10 minutes on whether Hillary can win Blog, news, books Thu, 12 Oct 2017 08:56:00 +0000 hourly 1 By: Don Turnblade Sun, 23 Mar 2008 21:55:04 +0000 An interesting thought piece.

Yet, as a Republican, I found it very encouraging.

Would you consider helping to make the Republican Party all that it should be instead of propping up the present lot of Democratic candidates?

I meant this, as strait talk, no joke. It seems the disaffection Bill Clinton created is so huge; my wife re-registered as Republican and is glad to stay Republican. I have never seen a self inflicted defeat of the Democrats so great in my life or the living memory of my family.

While the Republicans are not always the prize one might hope for, even half the level of your creative energy would make of us all a better and greater America. Give it some thought.


Don Turnblade

By: Mr. Natural Thu, 13 Mar 2008 15:15:00 +0000 View from Europe

Firsts, total respect for this piece. It is a great and piece of analysis ( although I can see a dash of sophisticated propaganda).

The election of your president has probably more impact on our daily live than the one of our own leaders. Unfortunately, as second rate citizens of the “Empire” we cannot take part. Although we do not have a detailed view of what goes on in the US (Rome), we have the “helicopter” view and what is pretty obvious is that Obama is on his way and that Clinton, sooner or later will have to quit.

Now it raises two questions:

1/ Can Obama win against McCain at all?
2/ If he can, then who should run for VP on his ticket?

I have heard a very interesting theory: Clinton would drag Obama’s candidacy down but John Edwards would pull moderate Republicans in…

Any comments…

By: Mark Thu, 13 Mar 2008 00:37:00 +0000 Obama naysayers continue to say that Obama spouts ‘empty words’ and then compare his speeches to W.

Never the twain shall meet, people. It was obvious while W was on the campaign trail that he not only had trouble seeing reality but he also had massive issues with English. Like, he was unable to string words into coherent sentences. Indeed, he had Rove on his side, too, telling him that Jesus was his favorite philosopher. Like an illusory demi-god could even be considered as such.

Obama is Harvard educated and graduated at the top – not the bottom of his class – as did Bush – who, btw, was simply ushered thru that university (Yale). Obama not only knows English, he can speak it. Not only does he inspire, he lives his word. He has actually lived in other countries. He is a hybrid – able to see from multiple points of RACIAL view. He represents something totally and completely different from the past.

The naysayers are not used to that. The naysayers aren’t used to being uplifted or hearing inspirational speeches or being called to action because of something inside them. The naysayers are terrified small minded people who are used to top-down demands. Who have no place for inspiration because they can’t hear it in their own lives.

Get over yourselves and let the rest of us come into the 21st century. Obama is the man who SHOULD have been President at the beginning of this millenium but who wasn’t there in time. Now it’s his time. It’s our time. We march onward and need to reverse deep wrongs that W created with his cronies. If anyone thinks Hillary, as President, would be ALLOWED to set a tone like that you are sadly mistaken. There is so much vitriol still in DC about her and Bill that nothing she says or does will help the US or its people. There are far too many people who still have bones to pick with that team.

The same can not be said for Obama. He motivates tens of millions. He even draws from the other side. There is no way any Republican will ever say ‘I will vote for her because she represents my interests’. On the other hand, you hear that all the time about Obama.

So there.

By: Paul Wed, 12 Mar 2008 19:47:49 +0000 WAS VINCE FOSTER MURDERED?

If you don’t know who I’m talking about, do your own research.
Draw your own conclussions. Exercise your own mind.

Has the world forgotten him? I haven’t.

By: Jason Mon, 25 Feb 2008 13:06:27 +0000 What about the moral courage of trying to pass universal health care in 1993 and 1994? Why is Iraq the only issue in which you equate moral courage Dr. Lessig?

There’s also quite a bit where both Hillary AND your beloved Obama are playing it safe, but it’s about political reality. Ron Paul had excellent ideas but it got him only a handful of delegates and he’s fighting for his congressional seat now.

Please do not use polls. Kerry and Dukakis had huge leads in the polls too. Hillary is a great debater and I do not think the country is going to vote for what is. not completely, but very much 4 more years of Bush. I think McCain would be a major upgrade given his more liberal positions and ability to work with Democrats, but I think America IS ready for change and the GOP is about the farthest thing from change there is, regardless who the Democratic nominee is. I’m ready for a woman president.

And really, I’m a Democrat, but I’m tired of hearing the lie that McCain wants us in a 100-year war. This is a Vietnam veteran and POW. We’ve been in Germany since World War II, we’re in Korea, etc. Granted I don’t think Iraq is Germany, and we need to get out of the Arab world if we want them to stop bombing us, but you’re smarter than this… be honest in your presentation.

I agree with Sidney on all counts. You really think we’re going to talk about the 60s? Seriously? I really doubt it, this video is like the twilight zone. We’re spending billions of dollars on entitlement programs, the war, interest on our debt… you think anyone cares about a million dollars? If McCain didn’t get anything for AZ he wouldn’t still be their Senator.

By: Mary Sat, 23 Feb 2008 23:37:37 +0000 Another effective presentation, Professor Lessig – thank you. IMHO we can frame either of two elections here. We can select an Obama/McCain fight – Obama can win that one (even if Seth’s nightmare Republican machine comes after him) The win would create a new political paradigm: bring on an entire new generation of young voters at the district and state level and point this country forward again. That paradigm looks toward the future with new ideas and methods to solve the new and scary issues the world has to face.

OR we can select a Clinton/McCain fight – she might win (probably not), but what we would be left with is politics as usual. Beltway politics would be based on the same paradigm we are working with now – you know, the one we’ve all decided doesn’t work. Professor Lessig is correct – if the campaign is about the 60′s the 90′s or whatever, it is about the past, and we’ll lose the attention of this young and newly inspired youth vote. I’ve heard alot of people say these youngsters won’t come to the polls, but I see my own children (20-somethings) involved, and based on the ages of the people I saw at my caucus, I think they’re engaged and they will vote – for Obama.

Seth’s “Old age and treachery will beat youth and skill every time” is the paradigm we want to change – the pattern of treachery, immorality and cynicism. While not entirely optimistic, I’m in the “What have we got to lose” camp. Either we take a chance on Obama, or we wallow in the unworkable past with Clinton or McCain.

And just a note on the bitchy side (I’ll keep it short because this is one of the precious few blogs that doesn’t get into that stuff), I can’t think of anything more depressing than having Bill Clinton back in the Whitehouse again.

By: Nelson Fri, 22 Feb 2008 21:14:57 +0000 Wonderful presentation, I can really appreciate what the “Lessig Method” does…it “feels good”. It allows you to build a theme without having to touch on the specific ideals and issues that your candidate has positions on.

The one specific issue you mentioned was Iraq. I’ll argue that only the future of the Iraq conflict is important, as America has already committed herself.

America is responsible for finishing what it has started.

Also, your presentation stated that McCain wishes to be at war with Iraq for 100 years. Whether or not you agree or disagree with McCain’s views, your framing of his statement is utterly false. Being “in” a country and being “at war” with a country are two different things, i.e. present day Germany, Japan, and South Korea.

By: regine kelly Fri, 22 Feb 2008 03:34:52 +0000 Thursday 21 Feb
Dear Prof Lessig,
I saw your lecture/video ( on the electability of Clinton, Obama and McCain. The thought of this election being reduced to Vietnam and the 60′s (generational) is so depressing to me that it prompts this blog post.
May I suggest that you make it easier to FIND the b lue-screened “electability” piece as these weeks are crucial and it seems confusing that one gets routed to your Lessig08 piece (and good as it is I would like to see the other on everyone’s home computer in the next 10 days. I am a librarian and I think BIG!) It is not often that one gets to hear a brilliant lecture, elegant in its simplicity, delivered in such a manner.
Also, how about calling it—”Hillary Clinton, John McCain’s Dream Opponennt”.
I live in NY and can’t vote for you but I would if I could.
Regine Kelly
Hastings on Hudson

By: sdef Fri, 22 Feb 2008 01:26:05 +0000 Hoorah stated: She already has turned the race into the civil war alienating blacks.

That is an iincredibly illogical and silly statement.
The more I listen to the Obama cult members the more I realize how gullible we are.

By: sdef Fri, 22 Feb 2008 01:22:28 +0000 Hoorah stated “She already has turned the race into the civil war alienating blacks.”

That is the silliest statement I have heard in a long time.

By: defg Fri, 22 Feb 2008 01:06:59 +0000 Republicans can’t wait to run against Obama and terrified of running against Hillary Clinton.
It’s Obama who is the polarizing and divisive figure here.

By: Knol Thu, 21 Feb 2008 03:01:29 +0000 I agree that Clinton would lose against McCain.

By: Dan Solis Wed, 20 Feb 2008 14:26:04 +0000 Why do Obama supporters such as yourself try to make him out to be some sort of Messiah. This really scares me. When taking part in politics, I’m not looking for an American Idol, I’m looking for someone who will get down to work. Inspiration is the least of my worries.

By: Closets Tue, 19 Feb 2008 23:47:59 +0000 At this point in history the Republicans could nominate Jesus Christ and they would still lose the presidential election. Without the “unholy” alliance between the wealthiest say 5% (true Republicans) and religious conservatives, the Republican part is impotent. I believe this election is being decided right now between Clinton and Obama.

By: Sidney Mon, 18 Feb 2008 10:59:59 +0000 Great movie…but I beg to differ with the conclusion you reached. I’m sure your intent was to show a clear path through the minefield that you envision the general election will present, but you’ve presented only one path and I see another.

For the record I’m a Hillary Clinton and I believe she will be our next President. I hope for this because as you point out in the begininng of your video, politicians should be chosen based on their ideas, what they stand for, if they are able to lead and inspire people. I believe that Clinton has all these qualities and for that reason she has my vote.

But, since the main point of your pirece is that many will decide who their candidate is based on electibility, I will give you my views as to why I believe that Hillary is the most electible candidate we have. She is the Democrats Dream Candidate…not the Republicans “dream” candidate as you see it.

1. I’m glad that off the bat we both agree that polls are irrelevant at this point.

2. If the campaign is framed by experience, your’e right, McCain has more years in the Senate, but with so many people ready to dismiss experience in the war of Clinton vs. Obama, how much weight will that argument carry and it’s a toss-up as to where the line is between to little and too much experience. Personally I think experience in the form or years on the job does have value so I will say that McCain has an advantage over Clinton here, but it’s not insurmountable as we see Obama on the verge of getting a nomination with barely any years on the job.

3. Toughness: in different ways I would say that Clinton is just as tough as McCain. In fact McCain’s toughness may crss the line into anger and resentment (teo things that often come with age) and may make this one more of a tossu-up than you give it credit as.

4. I do admire McCain’s straight talk stance, but his straight talk has in fact offended much of his base because simply out, staright talk means nothing if you don’t wanna hear it and a lot of people don’t want to hear what McCain has to say. This closely related to how you initially said people should choose their candidates…based on views, leadership and inspiration. A lot of people just don’t share the same view as McCain on what will be a major issue…The War. Clinton has his number on this one, because everyone wants the war to end. There may be some disagreement as to how, but McCain is being framed as someone who really doesn’t care if it even ends.

5. At some point, someone will make the point that Obama’s position against the war is meaningless because he wasn’t even in the Senate to vote for or against it. McCain will call his bluff on this. I wish Clinton would simply call him on this now.

6. I’m sorry but $1 million for Woodstock is nothing but a drop in the bucket for this country’s economy. Clinton will simply make the point that McCain paid $3 miilion to make and run that ad. He got all the mileage he could out of that ad…it got him a big laugh at the debate and put him on his way to the nomination. Clinton has nothing to fear from this ad airing again.

7. I simply don’t believe that the subtext of debates between Clinton and McCain will be about the 60′s. The furthest they will go back is the 90′s when a Clinton was President. The debate will be about the future.

8. The biggest hurdle Obama will face is whether he takes public campaign funding as he said he would. This will limit the amount of money he can spend against McCain and test if he’s a man of his word. I think he should keep his word because to this point all he’s got is his character. If he compromises his word…it’s gonna be all downhill.

Finally, the biggest fallacy of your movie is the implication that only Obama can inspire. Well, Clinton’s speech after he Super Tuesday victories was one of the best I’ve ever heard a politician (or anyone) give. Obama has given what some claim to be great speeches, but none have inspired me to vote for him. It would be easy to dismiss my last comment, but for the fact that this is a close race and obviously many out there are inspired by candidates other than Obama.

Thanks for making your movie and providing this forum for us to have this discussion.

By: Didi Sun, 17 Feb 2008 23:01:29 +0000 Here are a couple more videos that bear consideration:

Why is the media hiding this stuff? Maybe because they want to hold on to it until he’s the
nominee and then start pumping it all over the networks and country – so McCain wins by a ‘

By: Rick Rushing Sat, 16 Feb 2008 07:09:13 +0000 Liz:
If I may clear up a few issues. (from US Senate official site)
10//02/02 – Iraq Resolution introduced in the House
10/10/02 – Passed by House (296 – 133 )
10/11/02 – Passed by Senate (77-23)
10/16/02 – Signed by Bush

Obama was, of course, an Illinois congressman at the time. I can’t find anything to refute that he gave the speech on 10/02/02. The confusion seems to exist because he gave that same speech numerous times in that period.

Here’s my problem with Clinton:
She was less than 19 months removed from 8 years in the White House and was married to one of the most well-connected men on the planet. Her desire for the presidency was well known.
The Republicans had a lock in the House purely on partisan head count. It wasn’t a partisan lock in the Senate but only a few Democratic votes were needed. Those votes were easily in hand so Hillary’s would not affect passage. She was free to vote either way.
In the middle of the Senate chamber lay a huge dead rat called WMD. It stank to high heaven but they didn’t care. Everyone knew it wasn’t a REASON to go to war, it was an EXCUSE. The real reasons were well known and Hillary had access to info at least as good as any other Democrat. Despite knowing what was going down she figured a yea vote was politically safe and positioned her for campaign funding from the usual suspects. Wrong answer.
She knew the score yet she voted for war for purely personal political reasons. That might be understandable for a routine appropriations bill but it was WAR; people die in mass quantities, including the good guys. It was the wrong vote for the wrong reasons; two wrongs don’t make a right here, just a “way wrong.”
I’d have more respect if she’d just own up to it. But she wouldn’t be running for president with that approach so she offers the feeble excuse that “we were misled by Bush.” Come on.
Further, it’s a safe bet that any end to the war that she might effect would have to be under circumstances that would prove her war vote to have been correct.
Barack got it right. It’s as simple as that. Why? How? Beats me. I don’t know how JFK got it right during the Cuban missile crisis either. He just did. And we’re all still here.

By: Liz Fri, 15 Feb 2008 00:58:01 +0000 The videos are very interesting, thanks for putting them up. I like Obama for two reasons, he represents true Amercia. Just his background from childhood to his broken family, it really represents who we are. The other reason is for how he makes me feel when I hear him speak, it is very moving.

There are many things about Hillary that most don’t realize. She started her career before even graduating from law school. She made changes in her college campus making it possible for more women to attend law school. Now there are more women then men who attend law school. She started this movement as a young adult. She also started the movement to protect abused and neglected children, decades ago this was non-existant. Her proposed health care plan has been in the works for over a decade, she as been fine tuning it all this time. Republicans don’t like her becuase she stands for issues that they don’t like.
She is a determined, headstrong, aggressive woman and in our society those qualities are considered to be un-lady like. The exit voting polls prove it, go to, men would rather vote for a smooth-talking-under-qualified-man than vote for an experienced woman. This is very sad, and people want change, okay sure.
This is the first thing going against Hillary. The second is her vote to go to war, mind you, congress voted %70 in favor of the war. And of course, she won’t admit that the war was her fault. This last one I have a real problem with. …
Let’s say you are a car saleman, you sold a car to a 25 year old, she goes to a bar gets drunk, decides she can drive home, ends up running someone over killing them. Who’s fault is that? Based on what people want Hillary to say, you the car salesman is who is at fault, so go ahead and admit it already.
All over the media, all you hear is that Hillary won’t say she voted for the war and it was a mistake. WRONG. All she did, along with %70 of congress, was give the president the car. Bush took it, wrecked the whole thing while killing thousands of others along the way. But we all still want her to say it was wrong to believe in our president. By the way, do you believe in hope and unity and change? Because that is what Barack Obama is campaigning about, he wants you to believe in him. So was she wrong to believe in our president at the time she cast her vote? Was she wrong to believe that the president would make responsible choices when driving the car that congress granted him?
It is time to really wake up here people.

Barack Obama is and will be right from day one, so he says…
I did some lengthy research on this and here is what I found. Congress voted in favor of the war on October 2, 2002, Barack Obama rallied agains it on what date? Well if you go to his website he will have you believe that he attended this rallly on the same day it was voted in favor of. Go to his site and see for your self.
No go to
Don’t believe it, here is an article writing about how inspiring Barack’s speech was and they point out the date he actually made that speech.

So was he right on day one or was he right on day 24???
Don’t believe the Hype!

By: Al Thu, 14 Feb 2008 23:34:10 +0000 Great vids! I must admit I had never seen these before! They are very educating. Thanks for posting them.

By: mike charlton Thu, 14 Feb 2008 21:46:36 +0000 Professor Lessig: your presentation in support of Obama is both thoughtful and moving and I could not agree with you more. I write to offer a more prosaic reason why I think Clinton can’t win and probably won’t get the nomination.

When she ran for reelection to the Senate in 2006, she ran against a fourth ranked GOP candidate and amassed a fortune of over 70 million dollars in contributions. The vast majority of pundits thought that she would run away with the election ( she did) and still have 35 million or so in unspent funds to transfer to her presidential campaign. Those same pundits considered that amount to be an insurmountable obstacle for other Democratic opponents and thus, the talk of coronation. As it turned out, she spent almost all of it, leaving her with only 10 million to carry over to the new campaign.

While it seems strange to talk about 10 million as a paltry sum, that has proven to be the case but the more important point is how the money was spent. A great deal was spent on items that had nothing to do with the campaign: roses in hotel rooms, gifts etc. While this clearly suggests profligacy, it more importantly suggests that the issue of inevitability was overstated.

At the end of 2007, Senator Clinton had raised substantially more money than Senator Obama – almost 25 million more. Yet, at the end of January, she had to loan her campaign 5 million, since repaid from contributions but at a cost to her race.

While the sign of a sinking campaign may well be the “tossing over” of campaign staff, as happened with Ms. Solis and three others, it is important to start recognizing that the candidate least prepared to conduct a campaign was not the junior senator from Illinois but Senator Clinton. Whether the strategy and expenditures are a reflection of a misguided campaign or hubris, both clearly reflect an unprepared candidate, one who failed to anticipate the effect of a more grass roots supported campaign.

I have little doubt that Senator Clinton would make a fine president but I have also no doubt she would make a terrible nominee. The inspiration of Senator Obama was enough to make me a supporter but the pragmatic side of Senator Clinton’s campaign should suggest that the Democratic party close ranks quickly behind Obama.

By: slag Thu, 14 Feb 2008 19:55:12 +0000 Glenn Greenwald makes an excellent case for why Clinton’s campaign strategy is doomed to fail. Plus, I would point to the fact that, when Bush got on Fox News and lied about Obama’s position on Pakistan, not only did Obama immediately shoot back:

“of course President Bush would attack the one candidate in this race who opposed his disastrous war in Iraq from the start. But Barack Obama doesn’t need any foreign policy advice from the architect of the worst foreign policy decision in a generation.”

but shortly thereafter, no less than four (4) CNN personalities criticized Bush’s lie on-air. You don’t get that with Clinton. That’s a big change!

By: Rick Rushing Thu, 14 Feb 2008 15:45:04 +0000 Way to go Travis. Great site. It’s great to see you younger folks getting into the fray.
As a Baby Boomer I’m proud of what we achieved back in the 1960′s. Regrettably, smug with ourselves, we’ve lived the last 30 years in the stupor of complacency and left you a mess to clean up. I apologize to you for that.
Don’t ever underestimate the collective power of youth in unison.
Go get ‘em, son.

By: Travis Kiefer Thu, 14 Feb 2008 13:57:29 +0000 Great video! My name is Travis and I am a student at Stanford University. Because I believe Barack is the best candidate with the potential to revolutionize politics, I created a website at this so people like you can submit your favorite articles, videos and podcasts about Barack and vote on them. This site is extremely new (created Monday, February 13th) and is ready to gain momentum in spreading Barack’s message. With your help, this website can play an important role in helping Barack become the clear People’s Choice as the next President. Thank you and Yes We Can make a difference!!!

By: John Thu, 14 Feb 2008 12:21:50 +0000 I’m with Rick Rushing. If it’s McCain/Clinton, I’ll write in Daffy Duck. And I know I can recruit at least 75% of my friends to do the same.

By: dbt Thu, 14 Feb 2008 10:41:47 +0000 Hillary was wrong on the war, wrong on Iran (the Kyl/Lieberman resolution) and wrong on domestic spying (didn’t show).

Obama’s right on those issues and more. And I think he can make a better principled case against McCain and attract more voters.

And after that, I think he’s more likely to lead with his concience and wisdom than he is to get rolled by his advisors (Edwards) or his own timidity (Clinton, in the most charitable interpretation of her senate career).