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Advantage for Hillary? Carville Wants Primaries, Not Caucuses Due to 'Subprime Crisis'

     The subprime “crisis” has been blamed for a lot of things – a supposed recession, the fall of the dollar, a spike in energy and food prices, etc. 

 

     But James Carville, a longtime friend and advisor to Bill and Hillary Clinton, is pulling a new page out of his 1992 “It’s the Economy, Stupid” playbook. He wants a “do-over” for the Florida and Michigan nominating contests to be a primary instead of a caucus – allegedly because of the subprime crisis.

 

     “[W]hat we want to do is we want to enfranchise as many people as possible,” Carville said on ABC’s March 6 “Good Morning America.” “It’s absolutely ludicrous. I’m here in Florida which has been racked by this subprime crisis. I don’t know how many foreclosures there are in this state.”

 

     “If you look at what’s happening economically in Michigan and what’s happened with jobs in up there and income, it’s unbelievable that the Democratic Party can not come together and figure a way to empower Florida and Michigan Democrats to get as many of them in the process,” Carville said.

 

     Of course, it’s no coincidence that Hillary Clinton won those states in the first go-around.

 

     The national Democratic Party stripped Florida and Michigan of their delegates to the national convention after the states moved their primary elections earlier than February 5, breaking party rules. Now as the hotly contested race between Barack Obama and Clinton goes to the wire, the states of Florida and Michigan are looking to ways to give Democratic voters a chance to play a role in the nominating process.

 

     However, based on past results, Obama has a 10-to-1 advantage over Clinton in caucuses and that’s likely why Carville favors a primary over a caucus.

 

     Carville also took a jab at Bush’s endorsement of McCain on March 5 – something he deemed inappropriate because we’re “in the midst of a recession.”

 

      “[T]he Democratic Party, you’re right – we’re having a heck of a contest out there,” Carville said. “We’re going on. This is exciting. It’s thrilling. Our turnout is enormously larger than the Republicans. Our fundraising is going great. So yeah, I’ll take that contrast any time. You have [Sen. John] McCain and President [George W.] Bush hugging each other in the midst of a recession, like there’s a big party going on and Democrats are actually out there arguing and fighting about issues.”

 

     Although Carville said we’re “in the midst of a recession,” a recession is often defined as two fiscal quarters or six months of negative growth. The latest gross domestic product data, from the fourth quarter of 2007, showed the economy expanding at 0.6 percent.

 

     Carville also took another jab at Bush, calling his economic policies “idiotic.”

 

     “[W]hy wouldn’t anybody want to empower as many people as possible to weigh and make a decision on this?” Carville asked. “And, particularly in a state like Florida and Michigan, which are enormously critical to the Democratic Party, to say we want to hear from you, that both of these states are suffering as a result of the idiotic economic policies of this administration. Why would we want to exclude Florida or Michigan Democrats? I have no idea.”

 

     Carville may have forgotten that under the Bush, the United States has seen a period of unprecedented economic growth.

 

     “Despite these dire predictions, the tax cuts we passed contributed to a record 52 months of job creation,” Bush said at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C., February 8.  “[B]ottom line – tax relief works.”