Posted by Scott Cavanagh
What, exactly, do Obama supporters propose everyone "move on" to--Hillary simply quitting and handing the nomination to an opponent that cannot mathematically lock it up himself, trails in super delegates, has not won a single large or battleground state other than his own and just got clobbered in both Ohio and Pennsylvania? That request would not be surprising however; they've been begging their opponent to either play nice or quit for months now.
If those continued surrender requests were not strange enough, they want her to do so with two of the four most populous and important states in the union having no say whatsoever. I find this attitude particularly odd coming from fellow progressives who traditionally scream (appropriately) from the rooftops when it appears some small precinct or group of voters (usually in states just like Florida and Michigan) has been disenfranchised as the result of local, state or national party mandates or decisions. Now disenfranchising the entire Democratic voting populations of two all-important battleground states is just fine.
If the Obama camp's case against the revotes is simply and understandably the fact that taking those states out of play favors them and they are not about to slit their own throats--that's fine, but to disingenuously pretend that some flimsy decision by the DNC (a group the two major candidates otherwise ignore) binds them and ties their hands from changing things, is a far worse fib than anything dealing with a Bosnian tarmac.
Who cares whose fault it is that all of the Democrats in Michigan and Florida will have no say in the closest and most historic presidential race in history? Are you honestly trying to tell me that the Obama people could not easily dump a few of their $220 million into a fund matched by the Clinton people to pay for revotes in those two all-important contests?
Do the Obama people truly expect us to believe that their justification for not wanting to actually hear from the voters of Florida or Michigan is a decision by the DNC prompted by the greedy and egotistical actions of some state party bosses? Wow, some kind a "new politics" there.
The Obama campaign has been quick to question Hillary's sincerity on a number of issues. Let's talk about sincerity here. They don't want revotes because they are petrified of them. While neither of the candidates campaigned in Florida, both were on the ballot in the original vote, and Clinton won by a landslide. It is the state with the largest senior voter base--her strongest voting block. Michigan is a snapshot of both Ohio and Pennsylvania--both big Hillary wins.
Once again, it comes down to what happens in November--that is all that should matter to Dems and Progressives. I ask you again, without Florida and Michigan, what large electoral count, in-play, battleground states has Senator Obama won? How well has Obama and his popularity fared after just the smallest of controversies over speeches by an old preacher and just one little misstatement about religion and guns? Remember, the GOP has not even begun to unleash the hounds on this guy. What do you think Karl Rove and Co. will do with Rev. Wright's speeches and the fact that a convicted American terrorist bomber held a fundraiser for Barack--mention it in a speech like Hillary? They'll turn the GOP campaign into their own little YouTube of Wright, The Weathermen, and bullshit "He's a Muslim" stories--24/7. If he can't take what Hillary is dishing out without calling on her to quit, what does that tell us about his chances against the inevitable Republican blitzkrieg attacks? Hillary has taken everything the Right has thrown at her for 17 years--from total dissections of her political decisions and the most intimate details of her personal life, to being called everything from a radical and a carpetbagger to a drug dealer and a murderer--and she has bounced back and come out on top time and time again.
Obama has said it himself--Indiana should be the key indicator of who will get the nomination. If he wins there, the combination of a strong showing in North Carolina would probably stem any momentum Hillary has recently gained and force her out. If she wins however, and carries that momentum to victories in West Virginia, Kentucky and Puerto Rico (63 delegates and polling 2-1 in her favor), she would have every reason and right to think that she would be the stronger general election candidate and fight for the nomination.
The only way for this to be avoided, other than asking the first viable female candidate in history to just quit a race in which her opponent cannot mathematically put her away or beat her in the most vital states, is to have campaign-funded revotes in Florida and Michigan. Both candidates would have the opportunity to make their cases regarding the importance of each and every vote. If Obama were to win even one of the two, he would have an insurmountable lead in the popular vote and sit on the cusp of clinching the delegate count. If Hillary were to sweep both, she would still need a strong showing everywhere else to take the nomination, but if she pulled it off, she would have accomplished it fair and square. Either outcome would be fairer, more transparent, less divisive and a better reflection of the voters' wishes than any other foreseeable conclusion.
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Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Posted by Scott Cavanagh