This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at abulsme@abulsme.com are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.

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February 2008
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Puzzled Again

Early Non-Meetings

So last night I check my schedule before heading to sleep. I notice a meeting at 16:45 UTC, which is considerably earlier that I have been in the habit of getting to work lately… although really, a 17:00 UTC start time would be a good start time for me, and I should aim at that, but really I am at 18:00 UTC and often am a little later than that… in any case though, this was way early for me. But I made a note of it and even though it was already after 10 UTC by the time I was heading to bed, I set my alarm appropriately.

Of course, in the morning having had only five or so hours of sleep, I hit snooze one or two times too many… and I’d forgotten I had to let the dog out in the morning… but I still got to the car running less than five minutes behind pace to get there on time. If I made up a little time on the road, I’d be late, but only a couple of minutes late…

But then I realized that it had gotten cold over night, and the windscreen and all the windows had a nice layer of ice on it, and although by that point I’d already driven 20 or 30 feet down the road, I really couldn’t see a damn thing, and needed to stop and make sure I could see before driving further. Which cost another five minutes. Once I got started I still wasn’t making up time. I was going to get to our parking lot 7 minutes late, and then adding in the 3 minutes or so to get to the meeting room, I’d be 10 minutes late. And this was for a 15 minute meeting. Oops.

So as the moment passed when the meeting was supposed to start I call my boss’s boss, who was also supposed to be at the meeting, and whose cell number I happened to have on my phone. He was having breakfast. He was not at the meeting. He had basically told them they were crazy, and talk to him later in the day. Or something like that. He wasn’t sure if they had actually moved the meeting, but he had something later on HIS calendar.

Anyway, I get to work, run to the meeting, and sure enough there is an empty conference room with the lights out. A few minutes later I get back to my desk, get synced with the calendar, and sure enough, about two hours after the last time I had my laptop connected to the work network (and thus syncing my calendar) the meeting had been moved from 16:45 UTC to 20:00 UTC.

Oh well, I now have some extra time to catch up on things. Of course, I lost some of it by making this post, and will lose a few more minutes by going and grabbing some breakfast, but hey, this is an hour I wouldn’t usually be here anyway.

Lesson learned: If you check your calendar late at night and notice an early morning meeting, before going to sleep, connect to the network even if you weren’t going to anyway to get an updated calendar and make sure it has not been rescheduled. Worst case, it hasn’t been. Best case, you get to sleep more.

More Gap Widening

The graph now includes the rest of the results from Tuesday’s contests that didn’t make it for my update yesterday. We now stand at Obama 50.8%, Clinton 48.2%, Edwards 1.0%. That means the gap between Obama and Clinton is now 2.7% compared to 2.4% yesterday and 2.0% the day before. In raw delegate terms that is 69 delegates compared to 62 yesterday and 49 the day before. We’re at 1319 to 1250 to 26. It takes 2025 to win. We still have a little ways to go.

There were no delegate updates today on the Republican side.

We now have a couple week gap before the big events on March 4th. In the meantime, we may have some superdelegate adjustments, but absent major unexpected events I don’t expect anything really to change on these charts until then.

So perhaps there will be some blog posts on other things?

Nah, don’t be silly. :-)

Fine Surgery

By the way, for anybody who might have been wondering, Brandy’s mom had her surgery yesterday, it was successful, and she’s recovering nicely, although it will be a couple of weeks until she is allowed to drive and such, which is one of the reasons Brandy and Amy are staying as long as they are.

Time to Call it?

I was feeling a little like a wuss most of yesterday, because yesterday, even though I was somewhat feeling it, I decided to hedge in my predictions and instead of just saying, it is over, Obama is going to win; I gave the three scenarios depending on if Clinton won two, one or zero of Texas and Ohio. I did say I that if I had to bet, I’d bet on her losing both. Obama is rapidly closing the gaps in both states. But I gave voice to the other two possibilities. Specifically, I said that if she won ONE of the two states we would have an interesting extension going on to Pennsylvania and beyond, continuing to fight.

But…

Bill Clinton: Texas Could Be Hillary’s Last Stand
(Rick Klein and Sarah Amos, ABC News)

Even Clinton’s most devoted surrogate — her husband, Bill Clinton — acknowledged the do-or-die stakes on Wednesday in Beaumont, Texas, conceding that a loss in Texas or Ohio would likely doom her candidacy.

“If she wins Texas and Ohio I think she will be the nominee. If you don’t deliver for her, I don’t think she can be. It’s all on you,” the former president told the audience at the beginning of his speech.

(via Huffington Post)

Now… the ABC folks seem to be reading slightly more into Bill’s statement than is actually there, getting confused about his negation. They say he said that a loss in Ohio or Texas would “doom her candidacy”. But what he actually said that if she wins both he thinks she will be the nominee and that if “you” don’t deliver then she can’t be the nominee. He was speaking to people in Texas. So he may have specifically meant Texas, not Texas or Ohio. Or he may have meant a collective you meaning both states. It is unclear.

ABC seemed to assume he meant the latter, and that a loss in EITHER state will be the end.

Given the really bizzare way delegates are allocated in Texas, Hillary would have to do more than break even in popular vote just to break even, and to actually make a significant dent in the delegate gap would have to win by absolutely enormous margins. I really don’t think she can “win” Texas.

If Bill is saying she needs BOTH Ohio and Texas, and his statements reflect at all what she is saying, then I think she is done. She still has a shot at Ohio, but I think Texas is done.

Of course… we have two debates between now and then. And all it takes is one stupid foot in moth moment by Obama, or one good hit from Hillary that knocks him off his balance, and the trends in the polls could change overnight… But I think Obama has to make a mistake for that to happen. Debates are his weakest area though.

OK, so I started this post thinking I’d be making the unequivocal “Obama is going to win this” statement, but here at the end I find myself hedging again. There are still ways Hillary could make a comeback. They are just getting less and less likely.

And then of course, she could play a Huckabee, saying she’ll stay in it until and unless Obama has the magic number, and even then, she’ll fight to change the minds of superdelegates, and maybe even pledged delegates, and take this right through to the convention. She *could* do that. But I think if Bill is out there saying they need to win both states (or even just Texas) or she probably can’t be the nominee… then that means they have already decided that if March 4th doesn’t do what they want, then they will be out of there.

And of course, I already predicted that Obama would come out ahead in the end. And I still think that is the final outcome.

And I really would bet right now that it will be over after March 4th. So, what the hell, lets go out on a limb. The out on a limb prediction is that Clinton pulls out of the race within 48 hours of the polls closing on the March 4th primaries.

Just watch though, now that I’ve said that, Obama will make HUGE mistakes in both of the next two debates, his poll numbers will plummet, Clinton will win the March 4th states with overwhelming margins, then ride that wave through the rest of the primaries, regaining a pledged delgate lead and making the superdelegates non-issses and Obama will drop out after Pennsylvania.

Hmmm… that does seem unlikely, doesn’t it.

Oh well, we’ll see soon enough. I’ll be watching the polls in Ohio and Texas very carefully over the next few days. That will tell us a lot.

Also, I am anxious to get this over with, so we can start tracking general election polls on a state by state basis and making electoral college predictions… I already have in my head the graph I want to make if none of the big places like pollster do it first.

Did I mention I like graphs?