Monday, May 12, 2008

Michigan will vote

By Carl

In what is the clearest acknowledgement by Barack Obama of his deep troubles in the general election, the senator has begun
actively campaigning in a state that he has stridently sought to disenfranchise:

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama will visit Michigan on Wednesday -- his first visit to the state since last July.

The Obama campaign announced today that the Illinois senator will make two stops, in Macomb County and in Grand Rapids. More details on the trip are expected later today.

Obama has refrained from campaigning in Michigan because of a dispute over Michigan's Jan. 15 primary, which violated Democratic Party laws. He also removed his name from the ballot for the primary.

In other words, Obama caved in on his promise because he's about to get a mud hole stomped in his campaign tomorrow in West Virginia and he has to make some inroads in the "bitter white vote".

Obama has also announced campaign swings through Florida.

Now, granted, he's all but sewed up the nomination and really has no choice but to start mending fences, but I wonder how he's going to handle the enormous heat regarding his vehement opposition to seating any delegation to the convention floor in these states?

"Sorry, I don't think we need more bitter white folks in the Democratic party"? "Um, well, you people don't count"? "I wanted to seat you before I didn't want to"?

A preview of the rules fight on the convention floor, headed by Clinton capaign strategist (and the guy who wrote those rules) Harold Ickes was unveiled over the weekend:

The campaign "certainly might" accept a compromise that seats half the states' delegates, based on their disputed January primaries, said Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe. A former chair of the Democratic National Committee, McAuliffe made the case that the DNC should only have penalized the states half their delegations, as Republicans did when Michigan and Florida violated both parties' rules on scheduling primaries.

"The rule is 50 percent," McAuliffe said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "Had they done that, we wouldn't be having this discussion."

Another Clinton aide, chief spokesman Howard Wolfson, repeated on Sunday the campaign's new position that clinching the nomination requires 2,209 delegates -- the total including Michigan and Florida. The party and the Obama campaign set the magic number at 2,025, excluding the two disputed states.

A number Obama cannot possibly achieve, even if he wipes up the superdelegate map going forward.

Meaning the vote would go to a second round, and Clinton makes her case in front of the convention about how Obama's early victories needed to be revisited anyway, given the revelations of his blatant elitism and anti-patriotism towards the base of the party that skewed to the right to take back the House and Senate in 2006.

It's a long shot, to be sure, but I'm always reminded of Al Gore in 2000 and how angry all of us got at him for not fighting it until the bitter end, caving in simply because it was "the right thing to do."

He was wrong, and so would Hillary be if she dropped out.

(Cross-posted to
Simply Left Behind.)

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  • Agreed. Since she will romp in WV, and, I think have a pretty big win in KY, why should she give up? If FL voters should NOT have been disenfranchised in the 2000 general election, then why is it okay to do so NOW to MI, and FL again?! Whether Bill's SC comments began to stick or Obama's elitist comments helped screw him, I do think he's in trouble for the general election. People want BUSH gone more than anything. They'll take McCain for a few years with a Democratic Congress to block him.

    By Blogger QueersOnTheRise, at 3:52 PM  

  • Carl, FWIW, I put up a post at Newshoggers this weekend defending Clinton's need to stay in the race, not so much for her but for her supporters.

    Nonetheless, I don't think a fair comparison can be made between FL 2000 and MI-FL now. You might recall that back when this started eons ago, all the candidates had a tacit agreement to stay out of both states. Hillary reneged by leaving her name on the ballot. Considering everyone else stuck with the agreement, I don't think it's particularly fair to say Hillary won MI. I blog in Detroit as you know, and many people said they either didn't vote then because it wasn't going to count or voted in the GOP primary to have some effect on that race.

    As for FL, since Obama didn't get a chance to campaign there, Hillary had an unfair advantage by dint of simple name recognition. We've seen time and time again as this has played out that when Obama actively campaigns in a state, he has been able to change the margins significantly in most cases.

    By Blogger Libby Spencer, at 4:22 PM  

  • What the heck are you talking about? "He has stridently sought to disenfranchise?" No, Michigan's Democratic Party disenfranchised their own voters by not following the rules set up by the DNC, and agreed to by all the candidates, including famously, Hillary Clinton. So if you equate disenfranchisement with following the rules all candidates, the state and national Party agreed to, I guess you have an argument. Even still, it's an argument that then has to get past the fact that hers was the only viable name on the ballot. It's good enough for Cuba and North Korea I know, but stateside we frown on that type of democracy.

    So, OK then. The same state party leaders that screwed up in the first place last week offered a compromise - "Michigan Democratic leaders on Wednesday settled on a plan to give presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton 69 delegates and Barack Obama 59 as a way to get the state's delegates seated at the national convention."

    Which was rejected by Sen. Clinton. Now, explain again who is "stridently" disenfranchising voters?

    See, with the Clintons, it's their way or the highway. But they are in no position to tell the rest of us how the game is going to be played any more. The Clinton era is well and truly over, whether Obama wins in the fall or not (and they've managed to make it a lose-lose for themselves, at this point. He loses, they're blamed, he wins, they're screwed.)

    This kind of drama - the crap they are putting the entire Democratic Party electorate through, in spite of having now lost this race by any relevant measure, is precisely the reason the majority of primary and caucus voters have said 'no thanks' to a third Clinton term. We're sick and tired of the Clintonian drama.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:57 PM  

  • Elitism? [sigh] that most meaningless of pejoratives. What kind of an electorate demands a strong leader who doesn't listen to the opinions of the country, but is meek and unassuming?

    If we're going to accuse anyone of arrogance, why not the Democratic party itself? Why is it that my vote doesn't count unless I let the hick states vote first? Is this some kind of board game or is a primary an attempt to gauge the will of the electorate?

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 8:42 AM  

  • Hick state. Very good, Fogg. Just proving the point that a significant protion of the Democratic party looks down their noses at America.

    By Blogger QueersOnTheRise, at 1:50 PM  

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