After the United States took the airport in Baghdad, Iraqi Minister of Information Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, aka "Baghdad Bob," stood in front of the world's media and exclaimed, "We butchered the force present at the airport. We have retaken the airport! There are no Americans there!"
Was Baghdad Bob delusional? Did he truly believe that the American forces were killed at the airport? Or did he know the truth and just recite his hopes?
I ask this because I have watched Terry McAuliffe on television tonight, and it sounds as if the reporters interviewing him, and certainly the people watching the news, no longer take Terry seriously. He has morphed into someone who speaks in untruths, and here's the really bad news for Terry McAuliffe: tonight, his candidate suffered an incredible defeat. She is going to lose the nomination because she failed to capitalize on Pennsylvania and the Rev. Wright issue, and Senator Obama's big victory
But for millions of Americans who watch the news and specifically the cable news networks, Terry McAuliffe will forever be known as someone who is not to be taken seriously. And that's sad. Let's remember, Mr. McAuliffe was the head of the Democratic National Committee. He was a respected figure in the party. But those days are gone, and let's just use an interview he did tonight on Fox News as an example of why Terry McAuliffe's reputation morphed from party leader into Hillary Clinton's Minister of Disinformation.
Terry McAuliffe said that North Carolina would be tough because they were 25 points down and outspent 2-1.
But Obama went from 20 down in Pennsylvania to lose by nine. Hillary was down in one poll by 23 points, but in most polls it was 14 points or less. The most recent polls had her down by around eight points. The reason Senator Clinton is outspent is because people are voting with their wallets. 1.5 million people have contributed to the Obama campaign. Many are people without much money who have not contributed to a candidate until this election. So the fact that Hillary is being outspent is akin to saying she's being outvoted.
Terry: Hillary will clearly be ahead in the popular vote. Michigan and Florida voted - no one has an issue about that. No one argues that they voted.
Let's remember: Michigan moved up its election to a date earlier than the DNC allowed. Democrats took their names off the ballot - except for Senator Clinton. So there was no Obama, no John Edwards. Just Hillary - and she beat Uncommitted 55-40. That's not an overwhelming victory. Further, Governor Jim Blanchard, a big Hillary supporter, said that a revote said, "I think if we had a vote in Michigan, it could easily be close. The amount of delegates wouldn't make much difference." If Michigan was going to count, would John Edwards have won? I don't know, but his message would have been perfect for the state. Further, right now, Obama is ahead in the popular vote. There is no network, no commentator, no independent source who says that Hillary has more popular votes than Obama, because she doesn't. Obama is up by a few hundred thousand votes.
Terry: Hillary wins Ohio and Florida, so she is better to take on McCain.
Uhhh... okay. So because Hillary won Ohio, Obama wouldn't be able to beat McCain? Sure, Terry. Of course, Obama won Virginia and North Carolina. Would he be able to win those states in the general election? Certainly, Virginia is up for grabs. California, New York and Illinois will all go to the Democrat. Wisconsin is likely to go to Obama.
Certainly, new voters and independents are likely to favor Obama against McCain. And 58% of Indiana Repubicans just said that Obama is more likely to defeat McCain. Add to that, Rush Limbaugh is urging Republicans to vote for Hillary in the primaries so the Republicans can run against her and not him. And, the big one: Hillary has not been vetted. Obama has gone through a trial by fire, while his campaign never brings up Whitewater, Impeachment, Filegate, Travelgate, the scandals involving Hillary's brothers, the secrecy around the Clinton Library donors, or the Pardon Scandals. The Republicans are drooling at the prospect of running against those issues - hence, Rush Limbaugh urging Republicans to vote for Hillary.
The sadness here is that Obama is going to be the nominee, and Democrats who were once counted on, like McAuliffe, will not be remember for the good they did. They'll be happy in the private sector but their public service will be a memory only discussed with their former colleagues. Baghdad Bob? He's a memory, too, and his colleagues from the Hussein era probably toast his service. But to the rest of the world, Baghdad Bob is punchline. And Terry McAuliffe will have the rest of his life to know how that feels.