Thursday, May 29, 2008

Contrasting Campaigns re. the DNC

On Saturday the DNC rules committee will gather to determine the fate of the delegates from Michigan and Florida. Back before Super Tuesday, Hillary Clinton reiterated her position that the votes in Michigan and Florida would not be counted and the fact that her name being on the Michigan ballot was meaningless. But, once it became clear that she couldn't win or even come close, without those states being used in a way that would favor her in a way that would completely undermine the rules, she changed her tune.
When the committee gathers on Saturday, the Clinton backers will be gathering both inside and outside hoping to influence the decision. Clinton has encouraged her supporters to lobby the members, and have done so often in unsavory ways. The Obama campaign, which has always said it would abide by the decisions of the DNC, but has been painted by Clinton and her supporters as being undemocratic and obstructionist and even anti-women, is encouraging his supporters to not stage a counter demonstration.
Now, as to the issue dividing the candidates, I beg to differ with the assessment that Obama is the problem. All he asks is that he be treated fairly, because he unlike Hillary followed the rules. The problem is more acute in Michigan where his name wasn't on the ballot, and Clinton backers would like to snag not only the delegates "earned" by her 54% showing, but also a share of the uncommitted as well. She also wants to get credit for the Clinton votes in Michigan but not give Obama any votes. With this math somehow she thinks she can claim a popular vote majority.
I'm sorry, but all of this smacks of bad sportsmanship. It suggests a candidate so intent on winning that she is willing to destroy her party's chances at winning in November. I hope she proves me wrong on this. And to suggest that by being fair to Obama the DNC hates women is ludicrous. As I've said before, I am quite open to supporting a woman for President, but I don't think Hillary Clinton is the best choice for this post or for VP. She has serious character flaws that must be addressed, flaws that could present serious problems for our nation.
For more on the planned protests, check out this story.

3 comments:

Michael Westmoreland-White said...

New polls show Obama winning the electoral college math (narrowly--272 to McCain's 266) for the first time. That's a good position from which to start and build his general election campaign--and takes away Hillary's last argument to the remaining superdelegates.

However, new polling also shows that neither Kathleen Sebelius nor Claire McCaskill nor Janet Napolitano help deliver their states, so give up on a female VP this time. My picks: John Edwards, Ted Strickland, or Gen. Wes Clark or Gen. Anthony Zinni.

Pastor Bob Cornwall said...

Michael,

Although a candidate like Sebelius might not hand Kansas to Obama, she could help heal the anger of women that is keeping Hillary alive. Sebelius is a successful and popular woman governor who has shown an ability to reach across partisan lines. Strickland might give Obama Ohio, but not much else -- and while he's a prominent Clinton backer, can he heal the divide in WV and KY?

I like Edwards, but from what I hear he'd like to be AG. My preference is that after the convention Obama begins setting up his cabinet in advance. Thus, he tells us that Edwards will serve as AG, Richardson at State, Hagel or Clark at Defense, etc. He might add Lincoln Chaffee to a position. Napolitono or Sebelius, both termed out governors could be named to either VP or cabinet positions. Another GOP figure that might be a good cross over is Christine Todd Whitman. She was treated pretty shabbily as a member of the Bush administration.

Michael Westmoreland-White said...

Giving hints as to cabinet positions could excite people, but it could also seem arrogant and turn independents to McCain. I agree that Sebellius could help with some of the women's vote--but maybe not. Many of the most vocal Clinton supporters are angry at the idea that "any woman will do," which, of course, they won't.

I agree that Strickland only brings OH (and Obama is currently up 9 points over McCain in OH--which is why he is finally leading in the electoral college math), but I would rather have OH nailed shut to McCain in August. No, he doesn't help with WV or KY--but only Edwards as VP could put them back in play. Clinton couldn't win them in the Fall by herself, either and is kidding herself that she could.

With OH firmly set in stone, Obama could concentrate on MI (currently behind McCain by a mere 4 points) and PA (currently leading McCain by a mere 4 points) and FL (currently 10 points behind McCain). I am glad that Obama is changing the map west of the Mississippi, but it is too risky to concentrate only on this. NV, CO, and NM together equal 19 electoral points. OH is 20 and PA is 21! (That anti-abortion bill in CO now has me worried that it will flip for Obama, too.)
The move West for Dems may take more than one electoral cycle. Better to have 3 out of the 4 traditional swing states (OH, PA, MI, and FL) in hand just in case. So, I think Strickland remains a good choice.

If Sebellius hadn't flopped so badly in her response to the State of the Union, I would be more inclined to take a chance on her. Or if polls showed her making a difference in KS.