Archive for the ‘Democrats’ Category

A Response To Bob Herbert

April 26, 2008

Hi Bob,

Full disclosure at the outset, I’m an Obama fan.  I think he’s the best thing to happen to US politics in near on 50 years.

Anyway, I just finished your article “Heading Toward the Danger Zone” and I have to say, I’m quite disappointed.

I’ve become increasingly frustrated of late with what I perceive to be the lack of grounding in a lot of articles I see about the election.

In fact, re-reading portions of your article make me want to scream.  America needs better from people in your position.  You’re hurting America.

Let’s break down a couple of points you made.

Barack Obama is winning, so why does it look like Hillary Clinton is having all the fun?

Really?  I mean seriously Bob?  You really think that Hillary is enjoying this?  She’s about to lose the nomination for a job that she has wanted for at least 30 years.  She’s about to lose the nomination that she would have said it was impossible for her to lose prior to Iowa.  She’s having fun?  It might have been a figure of speech, but it was poorly chosen and misleading.  If you don’t think she’s crushed, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Democrats are filled with anxiety about their prospects in November.

Something that has been completely lost in the discussion about Obama’s electability, is the glaring contrast that Clinton is significantly less electable.  People are simply focusing on Obama’s perceived shortcomings right now because Clinton’s no longer matter.  She’s not going to be the nominee.

The Rev. Wright fiasco undermined the fundamental rationale of the entire Obama campaign — that it would be about healing, about putting partisanship aside, about reaching across ethnic and party divisions to bring people together in a new era of cooperation.

I can’t really tell what your angle is here but you are certainly part of the problem.  The Reverend Wright “fiasco” didn’t undermine anything.  To the extent that it had any effect at all, the Reverend Wright “fiasco” indicated *at most* how gullible and malleable the American public has become, due to the efforts of *people like you*, Bob.  Reverend Wright’s angry sermons, boiled down to endlessly looped sound bites, did a disservice, to Wright (first and foremost) along with every American who was subjected to them.  Incidentally, please watch the full sermons and write an article about whether you agree or disagree with the comments in context.  Imagine taking some risks as a journalist rather than trotting out this herd-mentality-tripe for a change.

Senator Obama did his best with his speech on race in Philadelphia

“Did his best.”  That speech was simply a “good try,” was it Bob?  This might be where I start to get really angry.  This might be where you really start to disrespect the public.  A singular example of political honesty and personal intellect that the candidate penned himself and you dismiss it as a good try.  Perhaps if we had a Commander in Chief who could string together such a sequence of ideas, we wouldn’t have the blood of tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis on our hands.  A speech where he was honest enough to speak about our racist heritage *and* the fact that affirmative action is institutionalized racism of a different bent should be lauded.  A speech where he drew attention to his mixed racial heritage in a storm of controversy about racial remarks should be respected.  A speech that treated the American public respectfully and, for a change, with honesty and openness should be held up as an example of what politicians can be.  A speech like that should not, Bob, be dismissed as a failed attempt.  To do so is beneath you and should be beneath all of us.

Your article can be summed up with this fatuous statement:

The big issue in this campaign is the economy and jobs. But if you were to ask most voters how Senator Obama plans to fight for them on this crucial matter, you’re likely to get a blank stare.

You see, Bob, the implication is that if you were to ask most voters about the plans of McCain and Clinton on the topics of the economy and jobs, you’d get an accurate policy synopsis.  And therein lies the problem.  You question his electability, Clinton’s is worse.  You raise up a bunch of (highly manufactured) controversies and gaffes.  Clinton and McCain both have more of them of greater significance and import to Americans than Obama does.  You finish with the vague idea that voters don’t know what Obama stands for, implying (wrongly) that voters have some detailed knowledge of the McCain and Clinton platforms.

Your article flows well but, from a content standpoint, it fails and fails hard.

Work harder.

D

Democratic nomination – what happens next?

March 6, 2008

Okay, so estimates of Senator Barack Obama‘s current pledged delegate lead seem to be around 125 delegates. There are 12 contests remaining with a total of 611 pledged delegates up for grabs.

I posted previously about the Obama campaign’s accurate estimates of the March 4th results. I think it’s time to take a look at what they believe will happen next.

   
Vote % Pledged Delegates
State Date Delegates Obama Clinton Obama Clinton
Wyoming 3/8 12 60% 40% 7 5
Mississippi 3/11 33 62% 38% 20 13
Penn. 4/22 158 47% 52% 75 83
Guam 5/4 4 55% 44% 2 2
Indiana 5/6 72 53% 46% 39 33
N. Carolina 5/6 115 53% 45% 61 54
W. Virginia 5/13 28 43% 55% 13 15
Kentucky 5/20 51 42% 56% 23 28
Oregon 5/20 52 52% 47% 28 24
Montana 6/3 16 55% 44% 9 7
S. Dakota 6/3 15 57% 42% 8 7
Puerto Rico 6/7 55 45% 54% 25 30
        Totals 310 301

The Obama campaign thinks they’ll be beaten in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky and Puerto Rico.

The two largest remaining states, in terms of delegates available, are Pennsylvania (158) and North Carolina (115). Obama’s team believes they’ll split those two with an 8 delegate win to Clinton in Pennsylvania and a 7 delegate win to Obama in North Carolina.

Pollster.com‘s most recent Pennsylvania polling data seems to indicate that a 5 point Clinton win looks about right for Pennsylvania. Likewise the numbers for North Carolina show Obama ahead by roughly the numbers listed above.

Adding Indiana into that mix with 72 delegates available means that those three states alone have well over half the remaining delegates. The predictions above show that there will be almost no change in the relative delegate differences.

So basically, as far as I can see, unless something monumental happens, there’s very little chance of Obama losing the pledged delegate race. The pledged delegate race will, in turn (and in this case almost necessarily) drive the superdelegate numbers.

I’m still waiting to read more about the noise I expect Senator Clinton’s posse to start making about the delegates from Florida and Michigan. I would be a lot of money that it’s a play she’s going to make. Assuming that Howard Dean and the DNC stand tall and stick to their rules, it would appear that Senator Barack Obama is going to be the Democratic nominee for President of these United States.

Democratic Nomination – What will happen on March 5th (Yes, the day after)

March 4, 2008

So according to my new favorite political analyst Al Giordanao over at The Field, today is going to be a delegate victory for Obama.

So what will Clinton do in response?  I don’t have time to go into detail as I’m about to run out the door, but look for her to do one of two things.

First she could acknowledge that there’s no “clean” way for her to win and gracefully bow out, throwing her full support behind Obama.

After you stop laughing, come back and read the second option.

The other course she can and, I believe, will take is to start lobbying louder and harder that the Florida and Michigan delegates be seated at the convention.

So expect, come March 5th, to hear Hillary Clinton railing about how unfair it is that the Michigan and Florida voters will be disenfranchised.

There is, however, one key question about that position; If you thought the decision was wrong Hillary, why did you abide by it and not campaign in either state?  Seemingly if you thought it was wrong before it mattered to your nomination status, you could have come out and said so.  You could have taken a stand saying “This is wrong.  I’m going to campaign in Florida and Michigan and do everything in my power to make sure the voters have their voices heard.”

When you wait until you win to start bleating about it, it looks bad.  It looks like politics as usual.  It looks Clintonian.

California – I need you

February 6, 2008

It looks pretty close tonight delegate wise.  If Obama can get it done in California, I think he will be the nominee.

I don’t ask for much.  I ask for this.  Please California.

Please?

A speech by the next First Lady of the United States – Michelle Obama

February 4, 2008

I direction your attention to a speech given by Michelle Obama in Delaware on January 31st, 2008.

I’ve been a huge fan of Barack Obama for quite some time now, but this speech is amazing.  Not only is Barack a powerful, inspirational and motivational speaker, his wife gives him a run for his money!

Anyway, it’s in 7 parts, so please check it out.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4Part 5, Part 6, Part 7.

You’re a Ron Paul Supporter – What next?

February 4, 2008

My family donated more money than we could really afford to the Ron Paul campaign. We donated because he’s an honest, hardworking man who has some good ideas that will help to repair some of the damage that’s been done to America. On certain topics, he’s the only one making any sense.

That being said, I’m a huge proponent of always voting strategically. Take the information available and apply it in a rational way to do the most good for the issues I care about. For the Primary contests we registered Republican to vote for Ron Paul. We think a vote for Ron Paul in the Republican Primary says more than a vote anywhere else at this time. We know Ron Paul’s numbers will be smaller than the other candidates, so every vote helps give his ideas an air of respectability. The big question is about what happens after the Primaries. We have to work under the assumption that Dr. Paul won’t be the Republican nominee. The Republican party has drifted too far from its underlying, conservative ideals. They don’t want Ron Paul and hence, they won’t get him.

So what’s a Ron Paul supporter to do?

That really depends on what you want. I’m figuring that most Ron Paul supporters are passionate, motivated people. Whether they’re new to politics in America or old hands at it, they care about who our next President is. So, as Ron Paul supporters, you need to decide what’s going to happen in a situation where Dr. Paul runs as a third Party candidate and what happens if he doesn’t. Admittedly, the choice may not be that different in either case.

Assuming that the Republican nominee is John McCain, it feels like most Ron Paul supporters won’t be able to support him. So in a race where RP is running as a third party candidate, supporters need to make sure that if they’re spending their vote on Ron Paul that it makes a difference.

All I ask is that you think strategically about what your vote will mean, in practical terms. Cast it where the vote does the most good for the outcome you want. Regardless of what that outcome is.

For me, the classic example of votes being wasted is John Hagelin in Florida, 2000.

Here are the final counts for Bush, Gore and Hagelin:

George W Bush: 2,912,790.
Albert A Gore: 2,912,253
John Hagelin: 2,281

I’ve read about some of Hagelin’s positions, he seems like a good candidate. However, if I had voted for Hagelin in 2000, I’d be regretting it still. Not as much as if I’d voted for everyone’s favorite developmentally disabled President, but regretting it nonetheless. I’d be regretting it because I voted symbolically and not practically. I would have thought I was making some grandiose symbolic gesture and instead I allowed a retarded tyrant to win.

The point is basically that if your candidate cannot win, a vote for him has the potential to be a discarded vote.

By all means, campaign, donate and cheer lead for your guy. Right up until the point that you realize he has no hope, then cut him loose and choose the next best available candidate. The polling booth isn’t the place to make a statement. The polling booth is a place to exert your influence on who the next President is.

You’re always entitled to vote your heart, and there are many political situations where that’s the right thing to do. If you’re a Ron Paul supporter and he actually gets the Republican nomination, there’s no question, vote for him.

If, on the other hand, he doesn’t get the nomination, you need to re-prioritize and realize that a vote for the Democrat will end the war. A vote for the Democrat will put an end (at least for now) to nation building. A vote for the Democrat will start to rebuild some of our civil liberties. A vote for the Democrat will start to restore our international reputation.

So be smart, work hard, fight hard, just keep your goals in mind. Don’t damage them to make a gesture.

If you’re a Democrat who wants to end the Iraq war, you have one clear choice – Ron Paul

January 23, 2008

I realized something earlier today. I realized that, as someone who wants to end the war in Iraq, I should have registered Republican to vote for Ron Paul in the Primary.

Why? Simple. In a Ron Paul vs any Democrat contest, the troops come home.

For any Democrats out there who care about ending our illegal occupation of Iraq, suck it up and register Republican. It’s not like a tattoo, you can wash the stink off later. Vote for Ron Paul, keep his candidacy viable and maybe, just maybe you can help end this awful mess we’re in.