Sunday, June 1, 2008

A Time for Unity

Yesterday, the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee ruled on Florida and Michigan's delegations to the Democratic National Committee Convention. The final ruling gave Florida and Michigan their full delegation, but reduced each delegate's vote to 1/2. Also, in order to more fairly seat Michigan's delegation after Sen. Obama removed his name from the ballot according to his view of the oath he gave following Michigan's early primary, Hillary Clinton was given 69 delegates, and Obama was given 59. These numbers reflect not only the actual primary ballots, but also the exit polling that showed many of Obama's supporters voted for Clinton because only her name was on the ballot. This wound up giving Obama an extra 4 delegates out of Clinton's total. This was worked out as a compromise to Clinton's request that Obama receive no delegates from Michigan and the rules, as laid out last year, that no Michigan delegates would be seated.

This now gives Obama a delegate total of 2052 to Clinton's 1877, with the goal post set (firmly I hope) at 2118. Obama now needs 66 of the remaining 280 unpledged delegates (24%) and Clinton needs 241 (86%). Switching those four delegates would mean Clinton would need 239 (86%) and Obama would need 68 (24%). Unfortunately, as Sen. Clinton made clear beforehand, any seating of Michigan's delegation that gave Obama any votes would be completely unacceptable to her, and as such Harold Ickies, her representative at the meeting, has stated he will fight this ruling to the Convention.

What follows is part of a comment I left over at BAC's blog:

...[T]he votes by this committee could have no effect on [party unity], no matter how they voted. The only way we will see unity is if Sen. Clinton, and her ardent supporters, stop vilifying Sen. Obama as the devil re-incarnate and work to bring unity themselves. The people have spoken; Obama has won more states, more pledged delegates, more "super" delegates, more caucuses, more primaries, and more popular vote.

Sen. Clinton has fought an incredible campaign, but she has lost fairly. If she continues to drive wedges between her supporters and the DNC and the Democratic presidential nominee, not just women, not just Americans, but the whole world will be forced, by her, to suffer under a third George W. Bush term.

As much as we might wish (the more salient of us at least), nothing Sen. Obama could say, nor anything any of his supporters could say, can prevent Hillary Clinton from driving that wedge in if she so wishes. There is no magical speech Obama could make; sometimes the ball is just in the other person's court and there is nothing one can do about it. Insults have been bandied, feelings hurt, but we are willing to lay those aside and apologize for any we have delivered. But we cannot take that step without Sen. Clinton and her supporters.

Unity can only be brought by both sides working together.


no_slappz said...

Undoubtedly McCain staffers are happy about the pending nomination of Obama.

This election looks like 1972 in many ways. Obama is riding a wave of anti-war sentiment, the giddiness of the youth vote and the broad, fuzzy and undefined desire for change -- not that anything about his campaign demonstrates a hint of change.

Sounds like George McGovern. The McGovern who was adored by Democrats. The McGovern who lost in a landslide.

Distributorcap said...

except obama is up against a loose cannon loser and lover of war like mccain -- and nixon was an incumbent.

and the economy wasnt in the toilet like it is now and gas was 35 cents a gallon - and then there is that pesky watergate break in which was someone meant to help nixon get reelected

yep 1972 and 2008 twin pillars

no_slappz said...

d-cap, no two events are exactly and precisely equivalent. But as you might remember from high school, you were probably asked to COMPARE and CONTRAST two situations.

If we COMPARE and CONTRAST the 1972 presidential election with the 2008 race, we will find lots of overlap and some differences.

Nixon was hated by Democrats with the same ferocity Bush is hated today by the same party and many of the same people. Spiro Agnew was as detested as Dick Cheney.

McGovern was the anti-war healer determined to lead the country in a new direction.

Pauline Kael, film critic for the New Yorker famously said, "How did Nixon win? I don't know anyone who voted for him."

Her naivete was repeated by several million others.

Meanwhile, the Watergate case had not surfaced, not that it mattered. McGovern was crushed, and his crushing defeat had nothing to do with information the Watergate burlars might have obtained.

As for the economy, well, you better check your history books. In 1972 Nixon authorized wage and price controls, the stock market was sagging and on its way to bottoming in 1974.

Gas was not 35 cents a gallon in 1972. Maybe 50 cents. Big percentage difference. And we were heading into the first arab oil embargo.

You can rip McCain from now till election day, but his weaknesses are far less serious than Obama's.

Soon you will see the following bumper sticker:

McCain, not Hussein

John J. said...

I don't know much about the '72 election, so I can't really say much here. However, I don't think you can really compare any previous election to this to get an exact answer what will happen in this. In the Democratic primary, Obama has re-written some of the common expectations and I expect that to carry through to the general.

As for your bumper sticker, slappz, I won't be surprised to see it, but it won't have much affect. Republicans who campaign using something like that are counting on the American public being complete idiots. The Democrats respect the public more and Obama is the first candidate in a long time to talk to us as if we are adults - and it has worked. In fact, 18% of the country thinks Obama is a secret Muslim, but there is also the 12% of the country that thinks the earth is flat and "it's elephants all the way down." I'll stick with the 80%.

no_slappz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
John J. said...

Slappz, I will not brook racism on my blog. If you want to repost your comment without the racist comments, it will stay, but I will delete racism.