Thursday, May 01, 2008

New Math

The chants of “The delegate count! She can’t beat the delegate count!” get more frantic by the minute, mostly because they become less relevant to the General Election outcome with every new revelation about The Precious. Obamacans think they can win with simple math, 1 + 1 + a whole bunch of people we don’t count and – Yay! --- we have our candidate. They refuse to acknowledge that a presidential election is more akin to an algebraic equation, with variables and unknowns getting factored in when you least expect it.

One of the questions Hillary answered in the Indianapolis Star interview was a math question, and she gave it a proper algebraic answer. (Our girl’s good with numbers, after all.) When asked about Obama’s allegedly insurmountable pledged delegate count lead, Hillary responded in two ways: first that she is ahead in popular vote count because she won Florida and Michigan and, second, that voters regarded vote counts as the basis of legitimacy, and the remaining primary states darn well wanted to have their votes counted. She emphasized the legitimacy of the Florida vote in particular and then threw down the political math challenge to the Obamacans. Are you really going to try to pick the nominee without counting Florida and Michigan? How do you think you can get the necessary Electoral College votes from them in November if you don’t allow them their primary votes now?

With every poll, every interview, every primary, it becomes clear that Hillary is the strongest Democratic candidate, the person who actually is going to attract a significant number of the moderate, old-line “Rockefeller” Republicans’ vote. So, what is up with this game of political chicken? Can’t Dr. Dean count? What is the gamesmanship going on here?

  1. Florida and Michigan must be seated with full voting privileges. It is GE suicide if they aren’t. This does not automatically give Hillary the nomination, but she takes back the position of front runner if they are counted before the other primaries are done. It changes the calculations of the voters, and the Obamacans are desperate to prevent that from happening.
  2. To have them seated and be allowed to vote and have Obama be the nominee, The Precious must win 2214 delegates (BTD says 2209) before the convention to prevent Florida and Michigan from affecting the outcome. This might also include counting his delegates from Florida on the presumption they will be seated.
  3. This is not going to happen, especially after this week’s news.
  4. As long as Obama cannot win 2214 without Florida and Michigan, the pressure continues to mount to include them precisely because they will and should affect the outcome. It’s called voting for those of you unsure on the concept of democracy.
  5. Deans dilemma is he has three outcomes, none of which are acceptable:
    • Refuse to seat Florida and Michigan, pray Obama can edge up to 2025, and declare him the winner because FL & MI broke the rules. As I said back in March, this truncated nomination will not be seen as legitimate by the voters. Those two states will go red in the GE.
    • Seat those states and take the risk that the super delegates will bolt en masse to Hillary, eviscerating claims of Obama’s support and inevitability. It will also send the party to victory in November.
    • Force Hillary out of the race so that Obama is the only one left standing and the remaining voting can be called off. This will also result in a GE loss, but it would avoid a convention fight, or so Dr. Dean hopes. This is the only strategy left with a prayer for The Precious, and is why we see such bellowing and threats aimed at Hillary.

So, why? At this point, I’m not sure there is any way for Dean to get himself out of this mess, and he’s probably decided he might as well be shot for a sheep as a lamb. But what was the original calculation that has ended up with deficits in the balance sheet and red ink everywhere? There is no way to know for certain, but I think the idea was that any Democrat was going to win the general, so it was the best time to run a relatively weak candidate. I also think the original plan was that Edwards would be the front runner, handily neutralizing Clinton and then we would have an Edwards/Obama ticket. When you look at the early polling, however, a funny thing happened on the way to the elite coronation – Hillary was (and remains) the most popular among Democrats. Edwards was not different enough for him to get any traction. The leadership threw its weight behind Obama in order to take down Clinton and preserve their power. With the full force of the Stevensonian wing and the MSM, it was almost enough.

Hillary fought back as only a Clinton can, refusing to succumb to the pressure. Now Obama, an insubstantial candidate at the best of times, is demonstrating the fallacy of Dean’s original calculation. The Precious can’t get the numbers to win the election, and looks likely to fall short with the nomination as well.

So, why does Dean persist in this course, to the detriment of the party? We may never know, but he should have known better when it came to Michigan and Florida. He knows how to do the math. He should have made his candidate stand up and take the risk to demonstrate before it was too late whether he could win in a direct election. The fully legitimate primary votes of those states are necessary to finishing the equation of a Democratic win in November.

If a candidate will not stand up for those states in the primary, how can the party expect those states to stand up for the candidate in November?

It just doesn’t add up.
Anglachel

      26 comments:

      donnadarko said...

      So, why does Dean persist in this course, to the detriment of the party?

      Sexism? White guilt? It's much more important to not look racist than sexist. Even though women are 54% of the electorate, blacks 13%. Why has EVERYONE forgotten the potentially cataclysmic women's vote?

      jalc said...

      Spot on, as usual Anglachel.

      It was a set-up, including the primary calendar. With the GOP in disarray, and running a field of even weaker candidates, it was an opportunity to run a weak Dem candidate.

      With the primary calendar set-up for the weak candidate's advantage, early polling must have indicated too much advantage to Clinton with MI & FLa, so they had to be taken out of play - temporarily. Even if they had gone into the lottery barrel of Super-T, they would have given Clinton, too big a 'bump'.

      Then the string of little and red caucus states, to give even more momentum, to take him through Ohio and Texas, and have him crowned alongside the GOP nominee. Florida could have then been seated, and Michigan, a re-vote in the 6 week lull period, to 'legitimate' him.

      But it didn't go according to plan.

      Not just Hillary's performance, but also, the GOP nominee being McCain. The Repubs may not have not had much to choose from, but they sure chose the best they had, and a stronger GOP nominee than expected. That was the 2nd spanner in the works for Dean and Friends plans.

      The Dem Party leadership have sure screwed up this time. There has always been a fragile fault line between the 2 major factions/wings within the Party, but we can't even blame the GOP for this fracturing, Dean and Friends did it to themselves.

      While I suspect they feel forced to take Obama, and most of the Base will fall into line in November - many of them will be holding their nose. Secondly, the loyal ground-troops of volunteers, who participate election after election, will find themselves "too busy" to participate this year.
      There will be some drop-off of Dem voter turn-out, and in swing-states it only takes 2-3% to stay home to lose the state.

      riverdaughter said...

      Let's go all hypothetical here. Let's say that it WAS Dean's plan to run Edwards. Actually, this is not at all farfetched. The way Edwards ran his campign spoke volumes to me. He didn't really bother too much with the traditional media. oh, he complained about it bitterly later but his strength was always on the web. He immediately capured the Kossacks and Joe Trippi was running his campaign. John spent a lot of time doing the populist thing in Iowa but his real fan base were the traditional liberal yuppie types. So, while he was trying to connect with the working stiffs, he was using language that railed against lobbyists and corporations instead of bread and butter issues. He also miscalculated his voters in terms of TV ads. He needed low info voters who don't have time for screeds against the fat cats delivered by a rich trial lawyer. For all his faults, Mark Penn's ad for Clinton in NH just before the primary was perfect: short, energetic, simple and memorable. The message was delivered without a lot of dialogue. It was like the Cliff Notes version of her policies. Short and sweet. So, Edwards flamed in NH.
      But maybe the fix was in when the primary calendar was adjusted to accomodate South Carolina. And adjacent state should have given Edwards the advantage.
      But the Edwards campaign was completely blindsided by the entry of Obama into the campaign. And that is when I knew that Edwards thought he was the inevitability candidate because his messengers at DKos continued to pound Clinton and ignored Obama even as Obama was siphoning the life out of Edwards' fundraising. Clinton took the hit and was able to recover. Edwards blithely went on as if nothing had happened until it was too late. Now, why would he have been caught so off guard if he thought he had a fight on his hands? My guess is that he *didn't* think he had a fight on his hands. He was a white, southern, male. I'll betcha he and his backers thought that a black male and a white female could never compete against a Republican.
      When Obama's entry caused a sensation, did Edwards assume he'd flame out early because he was an inexperienced lightweight? What he didn't anticipate was Obama becoming like some exotic flower that the whole country wanted to possess.
      But yeah, I think the fix was in. Howard Dean had picked Edwards and it didn't work out but South Carolina was perfect for Obama so it didn't matter anyway. As long as it wasn't Clinton.
      The question now is, why NOT Clinton? Why did he want Edwards, who would have been stronger than Obama? And why do the party brokers want Obama now? Is it just the Stevensonian wing thinking it's smarter and wiser or is there something else going on here? Is it because Dean wants to play with his stupid 50 State Strategy during a high risk year? And what prompted a Obama supporter (Ring) in FL to propose moving up the primary to jan 29? Was he a useful fool? Was he assured they would suffer no penalty? By whom? Was the tabling of FL and MI an inside job?
      Am I getting too conspiratorial?

      gendergappers said...

      Why is Dean acting this way? The answer lies in what he had to promise Nancy and the DC boyz to allow him to get the office. He just cannot go against them and they are the anti-Hillary crowd.

      Dean is their patsy. The voters must be allowed to pick, not the DNC and that means count the FL and MI votes or the Primary will be null and void.

      Double Jointed Fingers said...

      What a thought provoking post.

      I hate to think shit like this happens in back rooms.

      jalc said...

      Why NOT Clinton indeed.
      I suspect, in the hypothetical speculation mode - it dates back some years, and at least one part of the root cause is economic policy. The DLC/DNC sold out years ago to Wall St.

      Despite the mythology of the Clintons being in the pay of Wall St, they have long been rich enough to be independent of its pressure.

      The bottom line I think is financial market regulation. Most other OECD countries have kept some control and significant regulation on their markets, and over the last 5 years or so, have moved to "uncouple" their economies from Wall St. This is why so far, the USA's current economic problems, haven't hurt other countries as much as they might have 10 or 20 years ago.

      Wall St likes the total unregulated free market approach of the Republicans (and tax-payer bailouts when they go bust), along with highly protectionist foreign trade policies, like multinational control to dictate terms in Free Trade Agreements - but to hedge their bets, they also have Plan B for a Democrat govt to do their bidding.

      And Clintons & supporters are definitely their enemy on that score, despite all the Orwellian mythological reversals to the contrary.

      In this scenario, the DLC/DNC would be forced/bribed etc to support a candidate Wall St found acceptable on economic and trade policy, domestic and foreign. I suspect Edwards wasn't their first choice, but if Dean and Co could keep him on a tight leash on economic matters, then no problem. Obama on the other hand, with his 3 Amigos of economic advisors for free-market everything was far more acceptable, so once he did get that early boost in popularity they backed him with everything. Why do you think Obama was so determined to attack Clinton on the health care thing, even recycling the old Republican ads? Again, and again, and again? (btw I'm a health economist)

      Its all tied in with globalisation, rule of the multi-nationals, sometimes called the "Super-Industrial Revolution of the Third Millennium" (dating from the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989).

      Capitalism is in crisis (has been for awhile), and the big global multinationals, and their home-town on Wall St, will not go down without a fight. They will accept a Democrat, as long as they are tame Democrats on financial policy, and most of the Blue Dog Dems are.

      Chevalier said...

      donnadarko, good point. Of course, in their eternal blinkered-vision-math, they forget that while 12% (by the latest census) of the electorate is black, 14.8% is of Hispanic ethnicity. And by dissing Clinton, they're not only dissing the women, they're also dissing that 15% (half of whom are women), and the 4.4% of Asian ethnicity who overwhelmingly voted for Hillary.
      Race is important, but so is ethnicity and gender. Even if for purely political calculations.

      lakelobos said...

      Others did the reasonable guessing already, so I want to comment on the "sociology" in the game.

      The primary has demonstrated starkly is that there are two ways to look at Democrats. One is the ethnic view; this was discusses. The other is the upper middle class and the lower middle class and below view. Obama dominates the upper middle class, the wine drinkers (used to be quiche and Volvo) crowd. Hillary dominates the lower middle class and below.

      Dean was always a wine/quiche guy. Pelosi is richer that Hillary and Reid talks a good game but bows to the rich Republican on demand. They never felt close to the guy from Hope (White Trash?). The fact that he is the IQ of Krugman wasn't a factor.

      Is it just a class division? Except for Edwards alleged support. This can be explained away readily by looking back at the pre-Super Tuesday days. All those wine drinking fake progressive who claim now that they supported Edwards then, were quite lukewarm about it then. (Just read the hoodlums blogs from then: DKos, TPM, etc.) (Was he White Trashee too?)

      The elite supports the elite. As for women, Hispanic, Asians and the non elite whites, screw them.

      Bottom line: Pelosi and Dean support McCain.

      Anglachel said...

      Riverdaughter,

      The spousal unit said last fall that Edwards was being played by Axelrod & Trippi when he kept his focus on HRC while ignoring the fact that his loss of support was correlated with Obama's rise. If he had gone after Obama, I think we would have seen the racism meme come out earlier.

      The early primary contests were clearly attempts to boost Edwards ahead of the expected good showing by Clinton on Super Tuesday, though I think it was assumed Edwards would do better in MI & FL (MI = unions, FL = nice southern white guy). Then the poll numbers went tits up for him, and it was clear Florida was an HRC stronghold, and he got too clever by half by dropping off the Michigan ballot. I personally think that was a huge mistake.

      I don't think there is a conspiracy (these guys can't plan very well) as much as opportunism. There's real power struggles going on within the party and the Clinton opponents are simply grabbing every weapon at hand to try to win that fight. What I'm not sure of is whether they've simply written off the GE as the price to be paid to fend off the Clintons or if they are really delusional enough to think they can win in November.

      As to the CDS in the Democratic Party, that still confounds me, though I think it has to do with the liberal obsession with "The South". It's too visceral to simply be political calculation.

      Anglachel

      cutepeachpanda said...

      This is too much for me to take anymore. I had a hunch months ago that MI and FL didn't just happen by mistake. It was part of a plan to ultimately take down HRC. I'm sure Obama supporters think I'm nuts but that is how I've seen this since Clinton won NH. The hatred was too great for any HRC supporter not to see that the MSM and Washington establishment was going to stop at nothing to get her out of the race. Obama probably realized that he would be the media and establishment darling against Clinton and it got the best of him. He got cocky, he was sure he could get away with race baiting because of CDS, and he would play on white guilt and sexism to woo white voters and men. That is why I called Obama the next John Kerry months ago. He is making the same mistakes that lost Kerry the race in '04: ignoring Reagan Democrats, not addressing the possible use of Rev. Wright by the GOP to swiftboat him in the general election, the lack of concern for women and women's rights issues. Obama will not win and I know this enough because I know too many people including myself who are lifelong Democrats - not Independents or Democrats for a Day - who will not vote for Obama or support the DNC in the general election. Now there are numerous polls showing at least 30% of HRC voters will go to McCain. I'm assuming at least another 10% will stay home or write-in HRC. How can anyone excuse this type of behavior from Obama or Dean? Disenfranchising voters, race baiting, sexism, and arrogance have just lost them the base of the Democratic Party including MI and FL. Is this all worth it just to make sure the Clintons never return to the White House?

      Eleanor said...

      I also think the original plan was that Edwards would be the front runner, handily neutralizing Clinton and then we would have an Edwards/Obama ticket. When you look at the early polling, however, a funny thing happened on the way to the elite coronation – Hillary was (and remains) the most popular among Democrats. Edwards was not different enough for him to get any traction. The leadership threw its weight behind Obama in order to take down Clinton and preserve their power. With the full force of the Stevensonian wing and the MSM, it was almost enough.

      Zounds, this is brilliant. Seriously. I really wish you had a column in some national outlet, Anglachel...

      orionATL said...

      legitimacy is an issue we have already been thru in 2000. it should have made a difference then, but did not. it should make a difference to the democratic national committee now, but i doubt it will. mostly politicians respond only to force generated by money or loss of power.

      nonetheless i believe senator obama has a legitimacy problem, that can only harm democratic prospects in november.

      in part, i would argue, because his lead in pledged delegates (~160) is very small relative to the total quantity (~4000 +).

      and in part, because virtually all of this lead was obtained in an eight day period in february at a time when senator clinton and her husband had been assailed, falsely, by the obama campaign for making "racist" comments.

      where legitimacy is involved consider this:

      in the eight day period from the time the polls opened on feb 5 until they closed on feb 12

      in seven states - five states of the old south (alabama, georgia,louisianna, mississippi, virginia), maryland, and senator obama's home state of illinois),

      senator obama acquired 150 net votes more than senator clinton, i.e., [obama pledged delegates - clinton pledged delegates= obama net delegates].

      in those same seven states over the same eight days, senator obama acquired a net over sen clinton of 1.86 million citizen votes.

      at present senator obama has obtained 14.625 million votes from all states and senator clinton 14.940 million votes.

      to summarize, virtually all (150) of senator obama's lead in pledged delegates came from these seven states in an eight day period.
      and, THIS IS THE KEY POINT, had senator obama not received those 1.86 million votes from those seven states his total would be many hundreds of thousands, perhaps in excess of a million, LESS than senator clinton's vote total.

      thus, to me at least, senator obama's argument of numerical superiority in pledged delegates hides the fact that that lead comes from a very narrow base of states (the seven states listed above) in a very narrow period of time (feb 5-12).

      whatever else can be said of these numbers, they are NOT indicative of widespread support for senator obama among democratic voters. in fact, what they strongly suggest is that senator obama's lead over senator clinton is due entirely to his being the favorite son of black citizens (understandably so).

      this is not a data analysis. i am not a data analyst, thought i did spend last night at a holiday inn express. these are just numbers deployed to make a point.

      sources:cnncom/elections and diversityj.com/election results

      Matt said...

      If you count MI then you have to count the uncommitted votes that would have gone to Obama. But more importantly, who cares if she is more electable? The Super Delegates are still going Obama's way and will continue to do so for the next month. If they don't that's fine too. But don't come crying when the Super Delegates choose Obama over Clinton. And let's not play the popular vote game. This is about delegates just like the general election is about the electoral college. Remember, we lost in 2000 even though Gore had the popular vote. You can't change the rules to fit your liking.

      CMike said...

      Scroll down and you'll find CNN's primary calendar.

      OrionAtl interesting analysis. To dot four "i's," Mississippi voted on March 11. Mississippi was a done deal once Sen. Obama established himself as a viable candidate. Obama netted 7 delegates from that state. He'd win big there if the state re-voted today.

      What seems less fair is the 12 delegate net pick-up Obama won in the February 5 Idaho caucuses. Both the date and the fact that that state held caucuses really handicapped Sen. Clinton.

      You are certainly right that the anti-Clinton MSM themes were at their height around February 5. Unlike a lot of folks here, I do not think the Obama camp was driving those smears though they did hop on for the ride. Sen. Obama is General Electric's candidate - for the primary season anyway; Matthews, Williams, and Russert have been going after Clinton for over a year (years really).

      It was Chris Matthews who took the lead promoting the idea going into Iowa and coming out of New Hampshire that the Obama supporters were color blind and the Clinton supporters were stuck in the racist past.

      Shainzona said...

      matt, you say: "It was Chris Matthews who took the lead promoting the idea going into Iowa and coming out of New Hampshire that the Obama supporters were color blind and the Clinton supporters were stuck in the racist past.

      FROM WHOM DID THEY GET THESE TALKING POINTS?


      Paul Lukasiak (NOT a member of any lunatic fringe group) reported in Firedoglake about 3 weeks ago:

      "Is it a timing thing? Because all the Democrats, including Obama, did whatever they could to "scorch earth" Hillary's chances starting in September. I don't know if people just forget about it, or don't think it matters, but Hillary Clinton was running a relentlessly positive, issue oriented campaign through last September -- in fact all the candidates were up until that point. But no one was getting any real traction -- Hillary's numbers went up all summer, and Obama's went down, Edwards couldn't get media and languished in third place, and there were another half -dozen "WHO?" candidates.

      Running positive against Clinton wasn't working, so everyone, including Obama (except for Richardson) went negative on her -- attacking her relentlessly to drive up her negatives so they would have a shot.

      So is it just the timing? Or have people forgotten about that.

      And, when it comes to "scorched earth" campaign tactics, nothing beats the "swift-boating" of the Clinton on the race issue in South Carolina by the Obama campaign and its supporters. And it was "swift-boating", it was a big fat lie that Clinton was running a racist campaign, and the accusation made no sense; given the demographics of South Carolina, why would Clinton choose to start running racist then?

      CMike said...

      Shainzona writes:
      ***********
      matt, you say: "It was Chris Matthews who took the lead promoting the idea going into Iowa and coming out of New Hampshire that the Obama supporters were color blind and the Clinton supporters were stuck in the racist past.

      FROM WHOM DID THEY GET THESE TALKING POINTS?

      ************

      Actually it was CMike who made the claim that it was "Chris Matthews who took the lead..."

      From whom did I get those talking points? Er, is this a trick question, am I supposed to say the lunatic inside my head?

      I won't go back and do the home work. I remember in early December there was a lot of talk about when was Sen. Obama going to step it up? He did go after Sen. Clinton in the late Ocotober MSNBC debate. He made a fool of himself going after Clinton on the driver's license question a couple of weeks later during the CNN debate but ended up cornering himself on the issue.

      I have a distinct recollection on the day of the Iowa caucus (January 3?) Chris Matthews waxing poetic about how people around the world might wake up tomorrow knowing the United States had turned a page in its history or we all might wake up realizing the old divisions still make it too difficult for a black man to compete in a national political race. And I heard him trying to set up the "Bradley effect" as the only explanation for an Obama loss in New Hampshire.

      The talking points I use, that are different from the consensus view, are ones I've come up with on my own otherwise I would attribute them to someone. Actually, I think John Edwards was the Main Stream Media's target Number One in this election cycle. I've discussed this in comments elsewhere for months and I can find a link to a comment I made at Taylor Marsh's site in early November and links to other comments I've left elsewhere about this - if you're really interested in me demonstrating where my talking points come from.

      Grace said...

      Sorry my Taiwanness. I love your post and comments. I think this should put in big news paper.

      Now how do we help Hillary to win?

      If Hillary win all the coming states will be a good math?

      If Dean change his mind to back Hillary or he go, would help?

      If that opponent go would be the best. but how?

      I would never vote for him, only vote for Hillary.

      orionATL said...

      CMike--

      oh, jeez.

      how did i miss that one.

      next time i'll stay at ramada.

      thanks for the heads up.


      let me adjust those data.

      in mississippi's march 11 primary senator obama got a NET of popular votes over senator clinton of 100k votes (cnncom/elections).

      in that same primary, senator obama got a net of +7 pledged delegate votes.

      so subtracting out mississippi from the numbers in my comment above:

      in that EIGHT DAY period, senator obama picked up a net of 1.761 million popular votes

      and he picked up a NET of 143 pledged delegates.

      the six states involved were alabama, georgia, louisiana, virginia, maryland, and illinois.

      to reiterate, at present, senator clinton's popular vote totals is 14.94 million and senator obama's is 14.625 million (www.diversityj.com/election results).

      i'll add another factoid: these six states have a total population (in 2006) of 47.5 million. the total (not net) popular vote in those states
      for senator obama was 3.83 million. thus states with 15.8 % of the american population produced 26.2% of senator obama's total popular vote to date.

      for me the key point is that the great preponderance of obama's "lead" over clinton can be said to have occurred in an eight day period in february. and note i have left out south carolina,jan 26 so i can focus on this tiny period of time in a 7 month long nominating contest

      and furthermore, these elections occurred in a time period when the obama campaign, with a huge assist from the media, were busy labeling clinton campaign comments "racist".

      these are not numbers that insure that senator obama is a more legitimate democratic nominee than senator clinton .

      put another way, it's o.k if kansas beats kansas state by 1 point, or by 15 points, in a basketball game.

      it is NOT o.k. to treat a presidential nominating contest as if were a sports contest, with the winner declared if he/she has even the slightest numerical advantage over his opponent.

      we went thru that approach in 2000 and got a president who took us to war unnecessarily, destroyed our international reputation, placed the federal government in an enormous financial hole, and violated the constitution repeatedly

      during his eight year reign.

      CognitiveDissonance said...

      Matt, just like most Obamabots, you miss the ACTUAL rules so you can selectively boost your candidate.

      The ACTUAL rules say that if someone gets to the 2025 delegate count, they win the nomination. Regardless of what else happens.

      As we all know, neither Clinton nor Obama can reach that mark without SD's. That means that all bets are off. There is NO RULE stating that SD's have to back the person who has the most pledged delegates, even if they are ahead. NO RULE. NADA. ZIP. ZILCH. Again - He will NOT be able to win with pledged delegates.

      Now go do your homework and figure out what SD's are all about and why they were created in the first place. SD's can vote for anyone they please for any reason, but most importantly, are supposed to vote for who they think has the best chance of winning in November. Not too many people these days really believe that Obama can win in November. Not after the Wright fiasco. And the Ayres fiasco. And the Bittergate fiasco. And the Rezko fiasco. And the race baiting. And a dozen other sleazy connections the MSM has yet to even report - but will report if he is the nominee.

      This is exactly why we have SD's - so an obviously weak and compromised candidate won't take the party over the cliff in the general, as McGovern did. That is their job.

      The only question that remains is if they will have the balls to do the job they have been given and throw their support to the only remaining candidate who can win the GE. And that would be Hillary Clinton. It is quite obvious to anyone who hasn't screwed up their liver by drinking the kool-aid.

      cal1942 said...

      "Can’t Dr. Dean count? What is the gamesmanship going on here?"

      I still believe that this is a power struggle within the Democratic Party.

      I'm not so sure that Dean's candidate was Edwards, I believe it was anyone but Clinton. That seems to be where the real struggle lies; between the wine track Dems and the Clinton Dems.

      Obama wanted to run for President (in spite of his denials) the minute he was sworn into the US Senate. He got top Senate aide Peter Rouse from none other than Tom Daschle an early Obama backer. My impression is that Daschle is NOT part of the Clinton crowd.

      The truly amazing thing is that these people's first concern appears to be control of the Democratic Party. Winning the election appears to be a distant second. If Obama is nominated the anti-Clinton forces will have won and the election outcome may not effect their hold on power.

      Meting out the death penalty to Michigan and Florida (sure Clinton wins) was the opening battle of the war.

      Námo Mandos said...

      Well, so,

      1. It does appear that many Obama supporters do believe that their candidate can win MI and FL without including those states in the primary process.

      2. At least one adverse consequence of seating MI and FL is the wrath of the Obama supporters. And from the party's POV, that can't be a small thing. Letting Obama win and salvaging MI and FL later may indeed be what they're thinking. On the other hand, if they recognize MI and FL and Clinton wins, they may have Keith Olbermann yelling at them every night.

      That can't make for pleasant evenings.

      cal1942 said...

      "If you count MI then you have to count the uncommitted votes that would have gone to Obama."

      What in hell makes youn think that the Uncommitted should go to Obama?

      I voted Uncommitted but certainly not for Obama. My intent was for Edwards. Voting Uncommitted was hope that your candidate would be favored by one of the uncommitted delegates.

      Obama wants 50% of the Michigan vote something he did not earn (that would include nearly 6 points of Hillary Clinton's vote)and something that would amount to denying Michigan voted at all.

      Of course taking something he didn't earn is par for the course for Obama as his past clearly demonstrates.

      And about that 'would have.' You talk about adhering to rules but want to ignore the normal traditional rules of the democratic process. Your candidate took himself off the ballot. And no one should give a good God damn why he withdrew, it doesn't change the fact that he wasn't on the ballot and is entitled to nothing.

      Last time I checked the only people who can legitimately claim votes are those who are actually on the ballot. "would have" doesn't count and shouldn't count. "would have" is an abomination.

      Michigan's Uncommitted should be uncommitted without condition.

      lakelobos said...

      A fight to control the Democratic party seems to me implausible. There is nothing to control; there may be a desire to prevail, but that is not control.

      A question I don't have answer to is what making individuals such as Daschle support Obama. There are quite a few colorless, centrist, almost redundant establishment types who support Obama. Why?

      I understand why Richardson and Andrew support Obama despite being promoted from total obscurity by Bill Clinton. Both believe that Obama is the next president. (What a joke) Richardson wants a job and Andrew want to make more money as a lobbyist.

      jangles said...

      I would like to take a step backwards. Terry MacAuliffe was DNC chair before Dean. Terry is obviously a definite Hill person. What role did he play in creating the primary calendar and the mess the DNC finds itself occupying? Did Dean take over and make some key changes or were problems there all along? I am clear on one thing; the strategy was absolutely "anyone but Clinton". But I puzzle over this. Bill Clinton is renowned as a political strategist. He must know exactly what is going on. He was certainly in a position as Dem Pres for 8 years to build a party structure that could play the role needed for a Hillary win. Why didn't that happen? What went wrong? There was a great letter today from former DNC Chairs supporting Hillary (8 of them). That tells me that Hillary does have some strength inside. There was the famous $24 million dollar letter from Hillraisers. Has there been a major revolution since Dean took over and Pelosi achieved top dog in the House---have there been rule changes and manipulation of committee chairs? The voting in the last primaries is critical to legitimacy. It seems to me that a big thing for HIllary is establishing a popular vote superiority and achieving strong national poll numbers and strong numbers against McCain in key states. With those two things in place, Super Ds have a basis for supporting her against Barack and his pledged vote majority which will probably be small if Hillary does A and B above for the rest of this primary cycle. What Edwards does will be important too. Notice how Trippi is now saying that Edwards should have stayed the course and he regrets not urging him to do so? What is up with that? Is it possible that Edwards might stage a come back?

      gendergappers said...

      Great article - "This is more about media arrogance and unleashed elitism."

      So now the press tells candidates when to quit?
      by Eric Boehlert

      http://mediamatters.org/columns/200804300001?f=h_column

      grayslady said...

      I don't think Dean has ever had a horse in this race. I also suspect that he bent over backwards, initially, to be fair, since he's had the personal experience of being a candidate. I also see a notable difference in the nature of the campaign coverage, by both the traditional media and the blogs, from the time the primary campaign started, with numerous candidates, until now, when there are two candidates remaining. So what happened in between?

      Well, Edwards was a natural favorite coming into the primaries, having proved himself a strong vote-getter in 2004 and having been selected as the party's Vice Presidential nominee that year. But something had happened to Edwards between 2004 and 2007 when the primaries began. Instead of running as the 2004 "sunny populist," as some in the media labeled him, he became the "issues candidate" of 2008. Hillary, who was expected to be the "DLC"/centrist candidate, immediately matched Edwards' issues positions, showing that, unlike Bill Clinton, her early progressive/populist persuasions were still there. When Obama finally issued his position statements, especially his health care stance, it became clear that Obama was the true centrist in the race. While bloggers swooned over Obama's "hope and change" mantra, and right-wing columnists praised Obama's "unity" approach, it was patently obvious to any politically savvy observer that Obama's platform represented business as usual. Edwards never had the money to form the kind of political organizations that Hillary and Obama created. So once the press helped to kill his campaign, their next target was the other person who threatened change--Hillary.

      Hillary has been the most intriguing political personality of the primaries, IMO. Always bright, always a fighter, at the beginning of the campaign, she seemed timid and scripted--apparently listening to some advisor telling her, "Try not to offend anyone." Her early town halls, in particular, were characterized by too much in the way of speeches and too little in the way of answering audience questions. The NH primary changed all that. She learned that it was okay to be herself. I think she also saw that she and John Edwards were appealing to many of the same voters--the traditional Democrats--and that Edwards wasn't scaring off the traditional Democrat voter with his bold issues platform; he was cutting into her base rather than Obama's base. I also think she was genuinely influenced by Edwards' clearly sincere and impassioned calls for helping those in our society who have been left behind. Her work on behalf of children's issues, after all, was work on behalf of another segment of society that is voiceless.

      So when Edwards dropped out, Hillary picked up his populist mantle. Her speeches became more impassioned, her town halls more personal, and she jettisoned Mark Penn, the advisor who represented, for many, the antithesis of traditional Democratic values. Suddenly, the press started going negative, just as they did with Edwards. Hillary, wisely, has countered with the same strategy Edwards was forced to use: meet more people directly. Has anyone looked at her schedule? Open Left recently showed an event calendar for both Hillary and Obama; Hillary has 4-5 times as many events scheduled in upcoming primary states as Obama. That tells me that she, like Edwards, knows that she can connect well in person, and that she needs to do an end run around the press.

      Hillary's strategy and her message are paying off, and the do-nothing, change-nothing Dems are scared, IMO. Hillary was supposed to be the non-threatening centrist candidate. Instead, she's stood up for traditional Democratic values that many elected Democrats in Washington have forgotten (or never really cared about to begin with). Is there an anti-female, anti-Clinton bias at play here? Clearly. But I also think she threatens the cozy, do-nothing-complain-about-much attitude that has been so pervasive in Washington these past 7+ years. When Hillary's own senatorial colleague, Chuck Schumer, says he doesn't think it's possible to pass UHC, you know that the problems in the party extend way beyond anything Howard Dean is or isn't doing.