The Endorsement Thing

by: Mike Lux

Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 16:18

( - promoted by Chris Bowers)

Some of you who read me regularly may have wondered why, unlike Chris and Matt and many other people who blog, I've never mentioned who I was personally supporting. I've decided that today is the day I officially get off the sidelines, but first I wanted to explain why I have said nothing thus far.
Mike Lux :: The Endorsement Thing
For all my involvement in Presidential politics over the last quarter century, I haven't been actively involved in a primary fight since the 1980s. I caucused for home state favorite Harkin in 1992, but turned down requests from his campaign to go to New Hampshire, as my heart wasn't in it. I helped raise early money and did some politics for the Clinton re-elect in 1996, but there wasn't a primary. In 2000 and 2004, and so far this cycle, I stayed completely out of helping any primary candidate. I've made these decisions because:

• I have always cared a lot more about winning the general than anything
• We haven't had primaries where any of the candidates seemed that much better than the others
• I wanted to be able to work effectively with whomever won
• I always cared a lot more about movement building than primary fights.

This time, the decision to stay out has been especially complicated by my relationship with Hillary Clinton. I am a loyalty guy, have always stuck by friends and the people who have been good to me even when I don't always agree with them, and Hillary has always been good to me personally. The Clintons brought me to Washington, took a chance on me as a very young man with little national experience. Hillary always treated me collegially and with great respect, both when I worked for her and afterwards.

Beyond all that, I came to respect her a great deal, as I wrote in the past. While I disagreed with her sometimes, feeling that she was not as progressive as I would have liked, she was more progressive than most people give her credit for, and I found her to be incredibly smart and compassionate and tenacious about fighting for what she believed in. I think she would make a good President.

For all these reasons I did think about signing up with her campaign early on, and had some conversations with the campaign about playing a role. For a variety of reasons on both sides (probably foremost of which was my honesty about my disagreements with Penn's strategy, noted here and here), that didn't happen. Given that I've generally been more comfortable not playing a role in primaries, it was actually my preference to stay on the outside.

Having established that I would once again stay out of the nomination fight, I was resolved to stay neutral throughout the battle. I commented frequently on these pages about what I thought the dynamics of the campaign were. I praised and criticized most of the candidates and campaigns at various points, and thought I did it honestly and fairly even-handedly. If you had put a gun to my head and said I had to support someone, it would have been Hillary for all those personal reasons, because I agree with her more on health care, and because I know she will fight back against the Republicans as tough as anybody we could have.

My feelings started to change after going to Iowa for caucus night. The enthusiasm and passion of all the young Obama supporters, their excitement about being involved in progressive politics, won my heart. If Obama could inspire all these folks who probably never would have showed up at all, that was a pretty exciting thing. However, I continued to feel that it was important to stay neutral for all the reasons I mentioned above, and continued to praise and beat up on both sides from time to time as the campaign went on.

However, we have now come to a crossroads in this campaign. Ironically, it was yesterday's results which have spurred my decision. If Obama had won Texas or Ohio or both, the end would be clearly in sight, and there would have been no reason for me to take the painful personal step of opposing my old friend Hillary. But I now feel it more important than ever to do so. Yesterday's victories by Hillary were impressive- as I've said before, you can never count her out. But even as impressive as those victories were, she gained very little net advantage in the delegate race. It's become increasingly clear to me that between Obama's delegate lead and the number of states left where he is likely to win big victories (WY, MS, NC, OR, MT, SD), it is virtually impossible for Hillary to gain an advantage in the pledged delegate count.

It is also clear that she won Ohio and Texas in great part to a harshly negative attack, including an ad and rhetoric on national security that completely reinforces the Bush/McCain/Republican line of attack on Democrats for the last several years.

I am not arguing that Obama is the inevitable candidate, so we should all just fall in line. In fact, I do think there is a path to the nomination for Clinton:

• She runs another harshly negative attack echoing Republican themes and beats Obama in PA
• The campaign lays heavy pressure and cuts every deal imaginable to win over a solid majority of the remaining uncommitted delegates
• The campaign then wins a bitterly negative, highly divisive credentials committee fight by a few votes

At that point, she has just enough delegates to win the nomination in a fight that goes down to convention week.

I can't think of another scenario at this point for a Clinton victory. None of the pro-Clintonites I have asked about it can spell out another way, either.

With that kind of nomination fight, the millions of African-Americans, first-time-involved-in-politics young people, and all the other Obama folks leave Denver feeling like the election has been stolen.

That is not a recipe for a Democratic victory in November. As high as my regard is for Hillary Clinton, as strong as my instinct has always been to remain neutral, that kind of scenario forces me to support Obama. The best hope our party has in the fall is for Obama to win the remaining primaries, and for the superdelegates to line up behind him now.

To all you superdelegates with old loyalties and high regard for the Clintons, like me, I say now is the time to come together to save the party and our country from another disaster this fall. I know it's not easy. It hasn't been for me. But it's time.

Barack Obama is a remarkable candidate who has inspired a new generation to get excited about politics, and has the ability to inspire a country to greatness. It's time for Democratic Party leaders and activists to get behind him.

UPDATE: Listen to Mike Lux discuss his Obama endorsement on the Peter B. Collins show.  

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Oh that Hillary (4.00 / 2)
with her negative campaigning.  Check out to find out just how inspirational Obama really is.

Finally (4.00 / 1)
someone brings forth the negative attacks from Obama so far ignored by the media.

[ Parent ]
Yeah, it's all the media's fault (4.00 / 6)
Along with all those SC voters and rich latte-drinking caucus-goers.

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton

[ Parent ]
Scroll all the way down (0.00 / 0)
Attack Timeline
Paid for by Hillary Clinton for President

Seriously. And contains "attacks" like: Obama spokesperson falsely accuses Hillary of misleading people about whether Obama is 'a devout Christian.

No one should use this as a source of information. It's insulting.

[ Parent ]
Bleh (3.20 / 5)
Selective picking and choosing of facts can be used to prove any point. This site is a distilled version of Sean Wilenz's dishonest hit piece in the latest TNR.

Case not made.

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton

[ Parent ]
Those pesky facts. (0.00 / 0)
So inconvenient, eh?

[ Parent ]
From what I can see (2.00 / 2)
... the site is pretty fact-free.

[ Parent ]
Um, are you even looking at it? (0.00 / 0)
Every single instance of an Obama negative attack is backed up by a source.  Are we really at a point where we deny the existence of facts?

I'm staying optimistic that other people out there know what I mean.

[ Parent ]
I have no time to look at all of them... (4.00 / 6)
But some of them could hardly be called attacks, as they are factual descriptions.  Like "a corporate lawyer who served on the board of Wal-Mart"  That is factually correct.  Rose Law Firm didn't specialize in public-interest law after all.  

I guess you could call it an attack, but if it's factually true, it's Clinton's problem for having it in her history, not Obama's problem for highlighting it.  

[ Parent ]
Agreed. If those are attacks... (4.00 / 2)
...then I suppose Obama would be forced to say nothing critical about Clinton.  

My, how void the debates would be of..debate.

[ Parent ]
That's fine, as long (0.00 / 0)
as Clinton's discussion of Rezko is also not considered negative.  

[ Parent ]
how are those substantially similar? (4.00 / 3)

[ Parent ]
See post below (0.00 / 0)
That cites a few cheesy examples.

[ Parent ]
When selectively chosen and highlighted (0.00 / 0)
To prove certain points, and hide certain others, yes, very inconvenient, indeed--to the reputation of the people who selected them as honest brokers of reality.t

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton

[ Parent ]
That is really a piece of work (4.00 / 2)
It's a list of quotes and other items that purport to be Obama "attacks" on HRC. All four of the links I checked were bogus -- quotes taken completely out of context or completely wrong.

For example, this from 1/10/08: Obama supporter mocks Hillary's teary moment and says 'don't cry' to Obama

Here's what the story, from the NY Post, says:

In a windup to talking about how his Iowa caucus victory last week "vindicated" his faith in what people want, Obama told the crowd of about 700 people:

"This week, after a lot of traveling, a lot of planes . . . a lot of automobiles, a lot of handshaking, a lot of picture-taking, my retinas burned, singed . . ."

"Don't cry!" interrupted a supporter, prompting laughs.

Obama, who has declined to ding Clinton over her emotion-choked "moment" before the Granite State vote, tread lightly, saying, "I have no comment on that."

So the story actually says he "declined" to attack Hillary.

Here's another, from 1/18: Michelle Obama says Hillary represents 'the same old thing over and over again'

And here's the reference, from the the (U.K.) Telegraph:

"I get confused when people say there are a lot of choices in this race," she said. "There are so many more experienced candidates. My response is, no, that's not true. You've got two choices in this race.

"You've got the same old thing over and over again that hasn't worked for regular folks in my lifetime. And then we have Barack Obama."

So it's a reference not to HRC but to the argument that Obama represents a new direction compared to all the other candidates.

Maybe this site has some evidence of low-blow attacks from the Obama side, but from this sample, the site itself -- an organ of the HRC campaign that is making false claims against Obama -- is the low-blow attack.

[ Parent ]
If that's the best you can do (1.33 / 3)
to refute the facts on this site, I feel sorry for you.

[ Parent ]
I'm not going to look at them all (0.00 / 0)
When the first few turn out to be bogus, that's enough. How in the world can you call the NY Post one an attack, when it explicitly says he's not attacking her? You have a curious definition of facts.

[ Parent ]
So, your big counterargument (4.00 / 1)
is that Michelle Obama went negative, she went negative on all candidates, not just Hillary?  Is that really what you want to base your objections on?

Good luck to you.

[ Parent ]
it seems the site doesn't say what you say or the site says it says (4.00 / 1)

[ Parent ]
So, you agree that (0.00 / 0)
Michelle Obama went negative against all of the candidates, including Hillary.  Well, at least we agree on something.  :)

[ Parent ]
WHOIS information for (4.00 / 4)
  Hillary Clinton for President
  4420 North Fairfax Drive
  Arlington, VA 22203
Surprise, surprise.

[ Parent ]
The site sucks (3.00 / 4)
But it does say
Paid for by Hillary Clinton for President
at the bottom.

[ Parent ]
thank you for that (4.00 / 1)
didn't stick around long enough to look "down there."

[ Parent ]
Comedy. (4.00 / 1)
Let's see. Bill Shaheen said Obama might be questioned about being a drug dealer in December of 2007. Is that on the timeline anywhere?

All I see is critiques of her campaign style not the politics of personal destruction the Clinton's (sorry it's true) have immersed themselves in.  

[ Parent ]
First of all, (0.00 / 0)
Each of the negative attacks is linked to an independent newpaper article.  Are you saying that Hillary owns all of those newspapers?  Really?

Secondly, the whole point is that Mike Lux claims that only Hillary makes negative attacks, clearly implying that Obama has not run his campaign that way.  Get it?  The objection to such a post is that Obama has run a negative campaign too.  Coming back with saying that Hillary has done some negative campaigning does not, in any way, rebut my point.  Is this really so difficult to understand?  I don't think so.

[ Parent ]
No one is doubting the veracity of the links themselves (4.00 / 1)
Many here are doubting the veracity of the Hillary claims that these statements, in context, are actually negative attacks.

You, on the other hand, are waging an epic battle with straw.

[ Parent ]
ha (4.00 / 1)
Four attacks since the beginning February? FOUR?! What a joke!

The truth about Saxby Chambliss

[ Parent ]
Great Post (0.00 / 0)
Great post, Mike, that could not have been easy.  

It will be interesting to see if people start to come out like you have...

Especially the guy who has a couple delegates to his name, a big email list, a lot of power with the netroots, and could probably help aggressively sway a few of the under 50k, white voters in Pennsylvania that Obama has been having trouble with.

coming out for Obama? (4.00 / 1)
Mike you have all the right to support anyone you want, but if you thought you were a "closet" Obama supporter you weren't. As always fingers crossed for November. I will vote for either of our Dems.

closet. (4.00 / 1)
I have definitely been trending more and more that way in recent posts, but in my own mind it hasn't been settled until now.
By the way, the post that I have done that has gotten the most attention over the last month, the Cooper post, was a hard shot at Obama, so it hasn't been all sweetness and light in that direction.  

[ Parent ]
No secret (4.00 / 1)
I have to agree with the post above. Suppot who you want but in no way have you ever been seen as someone who is not pro Obama in my eyes.

I don't say this in a bad way just to point out its been pretty obvious.

[ Parent ]
I can't believe you're making the decision (0.00 / 0)
based on youth enthusiasm. The youth-worship angle? Really?

Nope. (4.00 / 1)
You misread the post. I said I started moving in more of an Obama direction based on the excitement he was generating among young people, which I do think is terrific. And I've been starting to lean that way pretty heavily lately, mostly because of the overall dynamics of the race. But I didn't make the final decision until this morning.

[ Parent ]
Do you really believe (0.00 / 0)
Mike, that the enthusiasm of young supporters is a good reason to want somebody to be president?  Serious question.  It's infectious as hell, but it seems an odd way to pick a president who will be capable of coping with the clean-up of the horrors of the last 8 years.

[ Parent ]
May I just ask... (4.00 / 2) an attempting-to-be-dispassionate observer (and founding father of the mehvolution over on the Great Orange Satan), is there a comparable demographic shift that a Hillary Clinton nomination potentially brings to the Democratic Party?  As easy as it may be to dismiss Obama's youth support, it seems to me that the youth demographic, especially first-time voters and new registrant Democrats, represents a much greater potential for movement-building than anything Hillary can boast.  Is the argument that we're overestimating the potential growth of the party with an Obama nomination, or underestimating Hillary's attractiveness among other demographic groups?

Yeah I blog.

[ Parent ]
That's a darn good question (0.00 / 0)
My instinctive loyalties are to the working-class and rural bread-and-butter folks who tend to be HRC supporters and are also coming out in unprecedented droves for this election.  Having been one myself once upon a time, I'm less impressed by the long-term significance of the enthusiasms of the young.

It's also not at all clear to me that the excitement of young people is about anything beyond the idea of Obama himself.  I haven't heard him making major effort to win them over to progressive ideas, so is this really movement or party-building?  I'm not sure it is in any long-term sense.

I also worry a lot about the effect of the inevitable disillusion of all those young people when they find out that President Obama really isn't able to change the world.  What effect does that have in the longer term?  My fear is that it creates more cynicism and apathy, not less.

To judge by what I read here and elsewhere, young people have wildly unrealistic expectations of what an Obama presidency would be like and the effect it would have.

It's absolutely true that if somehow Clinton manages to pull out the nomination, those kids will be crushed and bitter and maybe lost to us.  But I'm as resistant to letting that threat decide who our next president should be as I am to letting the reality of media hostility make it.

[ Parent ]
More straw? (0.00 / 0)
I don't think many people supporting Obama expect him to change the world. And in his speeches he's pretty clear that he can't. He's telling his supporters that he'll lead a government that will support them changing America (which, by the way, is not the world).

[ Parent ]
I don't think it's straw (0.00 / 0)
I believe he does say that "together we can change the world" or some such thing at the end of his speeches, IIRC

I think it's a good question -- what will happen to these young voters when they realize that it doesn't all work out like in a movie, with a music montage to show the world being changed by the power of President Obama?   I do think, however, that  the disillusionment resulting from an reality check once he's president is NOTHING compared to what could happen under the scenario Mike describes.  

Many people, and I think maybe younger people more so, view this primary as somewhat akin to a sporting event.  They want their candidate to WIN, because it's exciting when they do, and it gives them a rush.  If they feel cheated out of this win, they will likely become quite apathetic.  

Maybe I'm just projecting from my experiences as a non-die-hard basketball fan -- when my team is in the playoffs, I'm totally obsessed, and follow the entire process like a crazy person.  Once my team is eliminated, however, I lose all interest and often don't even watch the finals.  Although I can be obsessed with my team winning, I'm not obsessed with basketball per se.

Openleft readers are, overall, obsessed with politics, and not just with the success of their candidate.  I don't think this is necessarily true about all these new voters.  Many of them are more into the candidate than the politics, and may well fade away when their candidate is no longer around.  

Of course, this may be true of Clinton's supporters as well; who knows?

Republicans can't fix our country; they're too busy saddlebacking.

[ Parent ]
Not much evidence (0.00 / 0)
It certainly could happen, but I don't think there's any particular evidence for it. (And honestly, I think your description is dismissive of "these kids today" nearly to the point of being obnoxious, though I'm willing to assume that was not your intent.)

It's a fact that the vast majority of people who get involved in a presidential campaign don't continue to be involved in politics, and however this turns out, we should be careful not to mistake that ordinary occurrence for unusual apathy or disillusionment. The Obama supporters that I've talked to, including young ones, don't expect him to walk on water. They expect him to change things and run things a lot differently, to appeal to our hopes rather than our fears, and to call upon us to help make the lives of Americans better. After the Bush-Cheney regime, I don't think it will be a huge problem to live up to those claims (for Obama or Clinton, in fact.)

[ Parent ]
Not just kids (0.00 / 0)
It's not so much about "these kids today" as it is about a huge slice of the electorate -- considering that only half of eligible voters vote in presidential elections anyway, I think it's not a stretch to assume that an awful lot of American adults have a somewhat fleeting interest in politics (unlike we crazies here).

I'm not intending to be obnoxiously dismissive of young people so much as obnoxiously dismissive of the huge number of apathetic non-voters in this country.  I'm not sure yet whether young voters (not individuals, but as a demographic) caught up in the excitement of Obama's campaign would be more or less likely to remain involved if Hillary is the nominee than would older voters.

There are lots of young voters who do care deeply and who will turn up regardless of who the Dem candidate is, obviously.

Anyway, my point was not about whether younger voters have unrealistic expectations of Obama, it was about whether or not they would remain involved if he was not the nominee, particularly since for this to happen this will involve backroom dealings by Clinton, as Mike points out.  

Republicans can't fix our country; they're too busy saddlebacking.

[ Parent ]
Hillary-she's so impressive! (0.00 / 0)
Here's an example of her creative work in advertising:

I can see a positive path to the nomination for her (4.00 / 1)
A revote in Florida and she would win of course...could bring a positive momentum to the campaign.  And I agree with want the candidate who has won the most recently, who has the momemtum...who has won states that will matter in the general election.  

As you can see I think that is Hillary Clinton....and I disagree with you that the negative campaigning has only come from her.  I think that the Obama campaign starting in the fall began to run a negative, character based campaign against her....from deceitfully saying she had a 20 year plan to be president to his attacks on health care and NAFTA that were dishonest.  They have called her dishonest, dishonorable and compared her to Bush and Rove. They have said she would do anything to get elected.

Too often he has been graceless in victory and I still disturbed that there are no significant women advisors in his inner circle.

So it is interesting that you ascibe blowback and anger to the Obama supporters...I think that it is more visceral on their part....but are you really sure that the people who support him are going to be here in the long haul for the Democratic party?  I am not so sure.....the terms that the Obama and his campaign have set for joining his movement is not necessarily the terms that will keep them in the Democratic party. Sure they may take their ball and go home...but if they are so easily disappointed then I don't they would stay around.

"Incrementalism isn't a different path to the same place, it could be a different path to a different place"

Negative campaigning. (4.00 / 1)
I never said that the negative campaigning was only coming from her, I said that she won in large part because of the harsh, Republican-like security attack, and that if she waon PA, that is probably how she would do it there, too.

[ Parent ]
That's a multi-dimensional issue (4.00 / 4)
  I fully agree with you that Hillary running Karl Rove scripts (not just on the 3 AM ad, but also on the Muslim whisper campaigns and similar things) helped peel off would-be Obama voters. And those gutter tactics, combined with her endorsements of John McCain over Obama as president (for which she should be publicly roasted by ANY party leader who has an interest in winning this fall), are the main reason my attitude towards her has deteriorated so markedly.

 But at another level, we need to ask: WHY did those smears work? We'd like to think that we're Democrats, and those kinds of attacks shouldn't work in closed Democratic primaries, because, after all, it's Republicans who should be the ones who slavishly respond to the fear card. But  they did work. A party whose members disapprove of Bush by a 90-10 margin still somehow fell hook, line, and sinker to Bushian type of rhetoric. I don't understand it, either -- and the implications of that give me serious pause about this country's future prospects, no matter who leads it.

 As for negative campaigning in a primary, it's only truly damaging if it's from the right, because it provides Republicans with free general-election footage. Obama's attacks on Hillary might have been nasty on occasion, but none of them are designed to provide any fodder for McCain in the general. What's McCain going to do, accuse Hillary of supporting the Iraq war?

 But I go back to Hillary's praise of McCain. It's almost like she's trying to get half of the party to hate her.  

"We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn

[ Parent ]
Negative Campaigning? (4.00 / 1)
I'm not sure that I buy that the 3:00 am call ad is all that negative -- it is a pretty tame ad, but even if it is a negative ad, if that's all it takes to beat Obama, then we are in serious trouble in the general. Putting that aside, I wonder why so many people are attributing Clinton's wins last night to that ad, and not to say, the fear some have that the lying and dissembling we've seen from the Obama campaign in the past few days is only the beginning -- I think that disastrous press conference was much more damaging to Obama than any ad Clinton could have produced. A guy I work with (a Republican I think -- he was a Giuliani now a McCain supporter) is absolutely gleeful about that press conference. He keeps on sending me different stories about it and says things like "Man, he is cooked! Can you imagine this guy against the White House Press Corps? I'd pay to see that!" And he has a point.

Couple that with the fact that either Obama himself directly lied about the Goolsbee affair, or his staff is so incompetent that they allowed him to lie without confirming the facts of the story. Either way, it looks bad.

And then we come to Rezko. Obama wants us to put our trust in his judgment -- but the more I learn about his judgment, the more I think his moral compass has a hard time finding due north.

So, if you want to credit the fact that Obama only carried five counties in all of Ohio to this one ad, great. But it doesn't speak well of him as a candidate that he can be that easily undone. I think that it is more likely that his own failings are the reason for his undoing. And I for one am glad this stuff is coming out now while Clinton is still in the race and not later when we might not have any other options left.  

[ Parent ]
Excellent counterpunching... (0.00 / 1)
.......all the better since it's founded on facts. Something Obama has trouble with, The Hill does also, but Mr. 'Hope' is supposed to be running to a higher standard which is where he goes wrong. I don't think his political career is that much more corrupt than anyone else's in his position but he, and his followers, seem to think otherwise.

When you say,

And then we come to Rezko. Obama wants us to put our trust in his judgment -- but the more I learn about his judgment, the more I think his moral compass has a hard time finding due north.

You put your finger on it. A guy who called Paul Wellstone 'a gadfly...' a guy who thought Donald Rumsfeld would make and excellent Sec of Def, a guy who doesn't trust himself enough to vote on many issues of critical importance to our nation's time honored dedication to freedom. A guy who clearly could give a fuck about the export of jobs overseas.

This is a guy whose judgment I consider faulty. Let me be clear.

On issue after issue once you cut through the smoke and mirrors you find a guy whose PP rating 76.83 is worse than:

Feinstein: 84.85

Nelson: 82.53

Folks should support whom they want to but they should do so with some minimum knowledge of the so called 'facts'.

If not I would think folks would be worried about being confuse with...

Oh, say....

HuckaBee! supporters or....

Ron Paul acolytes...

Now that would worry me....were I them.... a little confrontational bad.

Peace, Health and Prosperity for Everyone.

[ Parent ]
So this is the new astroturfing meme? (0.00 / 0)
Bringing independants into the party who won't neccessarily vote for Hillary, actually growing the party, is a bad thing.  "Obama's been negative since forever, it's actually Hillary who was staying above the fray."  Telling the truth about her long record of support for NAFTA is a slanderous lie.  Pointing out her dishonesty and negativity in the campaign, that she has campaigned straight out of Rove's playbook (and has been publicly praised by Rove for doing so) is somehow underhanded.  He has never failed to congratulate Hillary on her victory, or even for the quality of her campaign when she lost, but that is being "graceless", even though she has never acknowledged or credited him for any victory.

Dishonesty, negativity, and entitlement.  And you wonder why so many people have a deep, visceral dislike for Hillary.

[ Parent ]
your endorsement (4.00 / 2)
Do you think that those of us who read you regularly had any doubt that you were an Obama supporter?

If you think the "harshly negative attacks" on Obama were bad in the latest primaries, just wait until the general election when we will see much much more negative attacks leveled at Obama (or Clinton) than we've ever seen before.

Further, I am appalled at the vitriol coming from Obama supporters (mostly newbies to the political process, I suspect) toward Clinton.  This is not a horse race or a beauty contest.  Hillary-hate has been entirely manufactured by the media.  That intelligent, well educated people can be so uninformed and buy into it is surprising, and it feeds the negative media narrative.

The future of our democracy depends upon removing the Repubs from power . . . that's where everyone's energy should be directed.  While there are sour grapes on both sides here, the Obama supporters seem particularly susceptible.

By the way, I voted for Obama in the California primary and will be happy with either of these two "flawed" candidates.

Me too. (4.00 / 1)
I'd be very happy with either candidate. And I'm appalled by the vitriol coming from both sides.
I agree re harsh attacks coming from the Repubs post-primary. I guess I am just disappointed that Democrats are reinforcing those ideas.
In terms of your assumption re me being an Obama supporter, as I said in a response above, I know my posts lately have started to trend more heavily that direction, but only lately, and I've come down pretty hard on Obama as well at times.

[ Parent ]
CRW, I agree with you about the nature of the vitriol, but... (0.00 / 0)
you are very, very wrong if you think the "Hillary hate," as you put it, is the result of newbies influenced by media manipulation.  I've been around a very long time, and I was suggesting primary challenges to Hillary back in 2005.  Why?  Because a lot of us have been pissed off about the war for a very long time.

There was a video, not sure if you can find it anymore, of a Code Pink nude sit-in about a year ago at one of Hillary's offices.  Pretty funny.  Code Pink is anything but anti-feminist, being a mostly female anti-war movement.  And let's not forget Cindy Sheehan's statement against Hillary, still available somewhere at Michael Moore's website.  (Google it yourself).  

So there are a lot of us that have been preaching against Hillary and swearing we would never vote her for president for years.  The motives are not personal, nor motivated by media manipulation, but by moral principles.  In the most important decision any candidate can ever make, the decision to send American soldiers to war, they made a decision that was an immoral but practical calculation, one that has backfired against them.

So, even if you disagree with the point, at least try to consider, we've been around as long or longer than you have.  

As for me, well, I marched back in December 1998 against the Clinton impeachment.  Got a sunburn carrying a sign for them.  As I recall it, the same week of the House Impeachment vote, Bill Clinton bombed the crap out of Baghdad.  Through curious timing, it was shown in glorious infra-red in split-screen on CNN during the floor debate.  Just coincidence.  I've been around a while and I have paid my dues.

[ Parent ]
I had doubts. (4.00 / 1)
I always felt Mike was a Clinton supporter, though a fair one.  

I think you've handled yourself very well throughout the campaign, Mike, and you continue to do so with this piece. Well done.  

[ Parent ]
Thank you, Mr. Lux (0.00 / 0)
I just registered to salute your on your great American spirit. It's people like you that makes USA a great nation, not those blood-hound politicians.  

well spoken and well reasoned! (0.00 / 0)
I had felt that this was the case reading what you have written over the months, but it's nice to see it validated.

I agree too, the only way Clinton wins is scorched earth and broken bodies.

And a big double fisted set of middle fingers to the Obama voters and the majority of the 2004 Dean coalition.

Mike, this is the big point: (4.00 / 1)
With that kind of nomination fight, the millions of African-Americans, first-time-involved-in-politics young people, and all the other Obama folks leave Denver feeling like the election has been stolen.

Forget about the first-time-involved.  That part is bad enough.  Think about the whole African-American demographic, for a moment.  If Clinton were to win this way, how would they react not just in this election cycle, but in future ones?  What would be the talk on black radio?  Certainly Obama and many in the black caucus would step forward to try to ameliorate the situation, make it sound like it was no big deal, but a long enduring mythology would grow to surround the historic day when an African-American almost became the nominee of the party, but had it stolen (spin or not spin, whatever) by powerful insiders in the Democratic Party.

I'm not African-American, so I'm venturing into dangerous territory making generalizations here, so I'll try to be careful.  But I think I know what I'm talking about.  African-American voters that I have canvassed seem to have a stronger appetite for racially-based conspiracy theories.  I don't defend that.  I just point that out to suggest that the theories that would arise from this one fantastic moment at the convention would resonate for at least a whole generation to the detriment of the party.  

We could lose a lot more elections than just the one this November if the Clintons succeed at this.

Let me also add, I think we lose a lot if they even TRY to do this.  The fact that they could even TRY to do this, and that we are discussing it now, is creating the basis for an ugly situation going forward.  A lot of people, including me, never thought this would ever be a realistic scenario that a candidate might actively AND PUBLICLY pursue without facing fierce condemnation by the media, the public, and the establishment.  But they look away.  That's frightening to me.  We are already damaged by this, even if the Clintons fail.

Yes, how would they react? (4.00 / 2)
I've heard this argument before, that if Clinton goes on to win the nomination, that somehow something really bad will happen with the relationship with the African American community. Now, I don't know, but I would suspect that most African Americans, like any other Democratic voters, have the ability to move past the primary and coalesce around the eventual Democratic nominee regardless if that person was their first choice. To suggest otherwise seems to me to be incredibly condescending and offensive.

Secondly, I don't believe that other Democratic voters should be held hostage by the threat that African Americans might be unhappy with the outcome. That is not a responsibility we can hoist onto the shoulders of every other demographic group. We're not talking about nominating David Duke here, we are talking about Hillary Clinton, someone who has worked for decades on behalf of issues and causes that are important to the African American community. To suggest otherwise is revisionist history and only serves to further divide us -- foolish considering that very soon we're all going to rally around one or the other, and whichever way it goes, about half of us will not be supporting our first choice.  

[ Parent ]
Well... (0.00 / 0)
...your second paragraph is basically a straw man, so I'll ignore it.  But you raise an interesting question in your first paragraph: what exactly will the perception be among the electorate--and particularly African Americans--if the superdelegates throw the election to Hillary in Denver, and should that be a legitimate concern for the party?

I can tell you from firsthand experience working campaigns in southern states that our party infrastructure in the south is almost completely dependent on African-American support, and we have to maintain those coalitions for the 50-State Strategy to have a prayer.  So I think it's at least worth considering if giving HRC the nomination at the convention over the will of the majority of pledged delegates will affect those coalitions.  I'm not sure if it would, and I think you're probably right that one good long look at McCain would bring most Democrats, including ones who think there was a high degree of shafting going on in Denver, back into the fold.  But we can't be certain of what the ultimate perception will be, and we certainly can't discount wholesale the risk that we might end up fracturing the coalitions that have kept our party functioning downticket for the last 20+ years in many states.

Yeah I blog.

[ Parent ]
If that happens (0.00 / 0)
it would only be if the "majority of the pledged delegates" is very, very small.  And yes, there would be terrific resentment, although I suspect much, much more among young enthusiasts than African-American voters, who are pretty wise in the ways of politics.

[ Parent ]
thanks for the post (0.00 / 0)
Sounds like a tough decision.

sorry you are getting so much flak for it.

But I imagine you expected it.

Texas (0.00 / 0)

In general, an excellent post, thank you.

But Obama won Texas.  He'll net 4-6 delegates by the time the numbers are finalized.   Why in the world do smart progressives allow themselves to be sucked into the spin coming from the Clinton camp and the MSM?  Since when is the popular vote the more important number in the state-by-state battle for delegates?

Please, let's not help perpetutate this nonsense.  We have given Hillary a major public relations victory.  It didn't have to be this way.

You're cool (0.00 / 0)
with the idea that Obama gets more delegates in Texas, even though he lost the popular vote?  Interesting.  Sounds kinda familiar, actually.

[ Parent ]
This is a very interesting point (0.00 / 0)
Unless I'm missing something, the Obama campaign is arguing that the Super Delegates should base their support on the number of pledged delegates, that somehow that would be more democratic than letting the Super Delegates make their decision based on whatever calculations they make on their own.

My problem with this all along has been that if the Obama campaign is truly interested in democracy and ensuring that the candidate is not chosen by some arcane Democratic Party rules but by the Democratic voters themselves, then shouldn't the Super Delegates be assigned based on a percentage of the popular vote? If we think we should change the rules and take individual choice away from the Super Delegates, wouldn't that be the most democratic solution? Otherwise, couldn't we conceivably have a situation where the popular vote goes one way, but the pledged delegates go the other (much like the electoral college), and then the Super Delegates step in to ratify the pledged delegates numbers, which may not reflect the popular vote?

This is the argument that global yokel seems to be making -- forget the fact that more voters chose Clinton in TX -- the pledged delegates support Obama, so that's the way the decision is going to be made. If we are going to change the rules mid-stream, why on earth would we do so in a way that is actually less democratic not more?  

[ Parent ]
I think you're confusing an argument with a rules change (0.00 / 0)
I don't believe anyone is proposing changing the rules to require superdelegates to vote that way. Do you have any evidence to the contrary?

Each of the campaigns is making arguments to superdelegates to convince them to support their side. Whether their arguments hold water isn't really worth worrying about, because none of us are going to get to decide that.

While you can make an argument about popular-vote totals for individual states, the overall popular-vote number really is a completely bogus statistic in this contest. With a mix of open primaries, closed primaries, and a wide variety of caucuses, all of which have different levels of participation compared to the number of Democratic voters in the state, adding up all the apples and oranges doesn't produce anything that can really be called "democratic." The delegate totals aren't highly democratic either, but at least they reflect the same scale across different states. Also keep in mind that this process also has to work in "normal" primary years where we don't have huge turnout, and the primary voters may not be as similar to the general-election voters.

The fact is, if the delegate totals are really, really close, it means that the Democratic electorate is undecided about which candidate they prefer. In that case, having elected officials and major party activists making the decision is no worse than flipping a coin, and probably better. If it's just close but not really close, then they'll see the writing on the wall and ratify that decision, because they're elected officials and major activists who have to deal with campaign workers and supporters, and don't want to piss us off. The losing campaign grumbles, and we all get back to work.

And after it's all over, we get to work on changing the rules to reduce the number of superdelegates and eliminating the particularly anti-democratic forms of caucuses, okay?

[ Parent ]
Do you think constant rules fights would be better? (0.00 / 0)
Yes, I am cool with the idea that candidates get delegates according to the rules that were in place when they all entered the race, rather than arguing they're unfair only after they lose one contest or another.

There is very little about this process that is based strictly on the popular vote. The purpose of a primary campaign is a little different than the purpose of a general election -- it's to select a candidate that the party believes is most likely to win. That's why delegates in most states are allocated based on past Democratic performance in a district, rather than strictly by population, for example. Some of these rules are arcane anachronisms, but others are designed by people who've been through a lot of campaigns to choose a strong nominee.

I would be happy with a simpler and more democratic system, and the time for advocating for that is when the rules are being set. A candidate agitating against the system when their self-interest is imminently involved doesn't advance democratic principles, it just creates suspicion.

[ Parent ]
Great move Mike, I just wonder (0.00 / 0)
I've been outlining the same path to victory for Hillary Clinton since Feb 6th. Obama's victories in February were no surprise to anyone who was paying attention.

The question I have, is what Mrs. Clinton (or her supporters) expects will happen if and when her victory is realized as outlined above. I do not pretend to know, but I think the worst case scenario will be some serious street protests, while the best-case scenario will be renewed indifference. At the minimum, new voters brought out by Obama will stay home. Anyone who thinks they have now somehow become political activists and will remain that way for life, is deluding himself/herself. African Americans will likely resent her enough to stay home and not vote. The damage will easily be enough to lose the White House in November.

I'm not too concerned about the above, since it's not a very likely scenario anyway. I think Obama still has a 70% chance of winning the nomination. I am concerned about Hillary's attacks on Obama and how she may help McCain in the process, but I am even more concerned about the deepening hostility between the candidates' supporters. With my working assumption that Obama will be the nominee, it is Clinton supporters in particular that I'm worried about. I've met quite a few in the last couple of months, most of them middle-aged to older ladies. Increasingly every day, I think a deep feeling of hatred for Obama is developing in their hearts. Reasons range from a perception of his unfair attacks on her to his taking away a unique chance for a woman president. Regardless of the reasons or whether they're justified, a longer primary season results in stronger feelings that a higher chance that those feelings will stay with supporters till November.

It was just a month ago when I game HRC 55% chances of winning in November and Obama 65-70%... I now give HRC 40% and Obama 50% chances. I hope I'm wrong, but I don't like the road we're on.

What about me?? (0.00 / 0)
You talk about African Americans being pissed off and staying home and how that would effect the elections. Well what about voters like me -- Women, Mothers, Small Business owners. People who can barely afford to pay for health insurance, people who are as concerned about the economy as we are about the war.

What if we stay home??? Did you ever consider that? What happens if women - at least half of the population, decide that the Democratic party doesn't represent our intrests? You talk about a hostility towards Obama developing and seem to indicate the way to resolve it is for Hillary to just give up and go home. What sort of impact do you think that would have on the electorate??

Hmmm - might make for a really interesting election if all the women who traditionally vote Democratic stay home. Think that might be beneficial to McCain??

Sorry but the way off the road you think we are on is not to kick Hillary to the curb.  

[ Parent ]
Your comment is exactly what my point was (0.00 / 0)
I think you misread my comment. If you read it carefully, you will see that I said:

With my working assumption that Obama will be the nominee, it is Clinton supporters in particular that I'm worried about.

So again, given the delegates won by each candidates, it still seems unlikely that Obama will lose and I am therefore really concerned about Clinton supporters like yourself, who may not vote for Obama as the nominee.

Your suggestion seems to be that the fight would continue, but to what avail? The best case scenario from my perspective, would be strong wins by Obama (including new primaries in FL and MI) that would put him ahead in delegate count and popular vote, leaving no question about the legitimacy of his nomination, but would that make women like you happy? The best case (realistic) scenario for Clinton appear to be closing the gap in pledged delegates to under 50 and then winning using superdelegates. Can you objectively agree how controversial that would be?

But really, what is there left for me to say? You've said everything I would have hope to prove. Many liberal activists appear to think that Obama is the first liberal with a chance to win the White House for a long time, yet you question whether "Democrats" will support him. You seem to think that Obama would not make health insurance affordable for the poor or that he wouldn't help those who are concerned about the economy. At the very least, you imply that he wouldn't be on the same level on these issues as Hillary Clinton would, and that raises a lot of questions.

Why would you think this way? Why does the liberal wing of the party, the wing that cares most about these deeply liberal values, disagree with you? Is it not the war between these two campaigns that have led you to these statements? Would you really have the same view of Obama, if Clinton was not in the race of if she had dropped out a long time ago?

Your comments are precisely what I expressed my concern about. Your arguments and beliefs prove the exact points that I've been making, though we may disagree on the reasons why you believe in these arguments. What we don't have is a solution and that's what I'm looking for.

[ Parent ]
the nomination (4.00 / 1)

I hear ya.  I've yet to see a Hillary supporter lay out the case for how the Democratic Party would survive a situation where the superdelegates threw the nomination to HRC in spite of Obama's insurmountable lead in earned delegates.

Until somebody provides us with a viable explanation for how we're going to keep the Party together should that scenario come to pass, I can only join you in saying that we're on course for a trainwreck that everyone is going to regret.

Have some decaf (0.00 / 0)
It's not going to happen that way.  The superdelegates will only get involved if the difference in earned delegates and/or popular vote is so close that somebody had to basically flip a coin.  Frankly, I think it's just as likely, if not moreso, that the superdelegates will be frantic to join the Obama bandwagon, delegates and popular vote be damned.

[ Parent ]
Define "as close" (0.00 / 0)
What does that mean? Is it 50 pledged delegates, of 20, or 10 or 5 that's needed to establish one candidate as the leader of the elected delegates and for super-delegates to jump on the bandwagon? What's the magic number and why? When would you ever have to flip a coin? If I asked you which is bigger, 1600 or 1601, would you flip a coin?

[ Parent ]
Not everyone will regret it (0.00 / 0)
Someone will be running for the nomination in 2012 and that someone will only be able to do so because there won't be a sitting Democrat in the White House. I promise you, that someone will be happy.

[ Parent ]
No Good Deed Ever Goes Unpunished (0.00 / 0)
I used to think that was a joke.  It's not.  It's really true.  In any case, I would respect any choice Mr. Lux might have made, but now I can both respect & agree with your choice.  

Very well said (0.00 / 0)
Thanks much for your honest and sincere evaluation of the race and statement of personal preference.  You demonstrate how and why the netroots are great.

I really dont know how i could ever vote for Obama! (0.00 / 0)
I never not voted in a presidential election. I never NOT voted for a Democrat. I never voted for a republican in my life. Yet, as a progressive democrat i have deep deep deep reservations about Obama. I DON'T think he is electable in the general election. I don't think he can win.

I hear all this talk about people powered politics and how he raises money from individulas and then learn that isnt true.

He has a history of avoiding tough votes and learn he missed more votes in 3 years then Clinton has missed in 8!

He voted "Obama (D-IL), Yea " on S.5 The Class Action Fairness Act. Clinton, Kennedy & Kerry voted no but Obama was on the side of Liberman, McCain, Lott and many other wonderful republicans.

Do you happen to know how many liberal, progressive and civil rights groups were opposed to the legislation?

I was very excited by Obama and donated money when he first announced. The more i got to know him the less i liked what i saw.

I see blind ambition hiding behind this "change" double speak that doesnt add up with his record. We already have one egomanic in office, I don't want another.

If the democratic party nominates or "selects" him, it will be a hard pill to swallow.

concern troll (0.00 / 0)
Aside from the obvious concern trolling, let's explore another obvious point -- all politicians are egomaniacs.  They have to be in order to be in the field; otherwise their egos would be crushed by the onslaught of negative things said about them and people hating them for one reason or another.

Is Obama better than Hillary?  Debate it as much as you want, dude!  Would Obama be better than McCain?  Obviously.  You're entitled to concerns about him, of course, but implying that you wouldn't vote for him over McCain seems a little silly/concern trollish.

Republicans can't fix our country; they're too busy saddlebacking.

[ Parent ]
Troll Paranoia (0.00 / 0)
Is it that shocking to hear a democrat, and a progressive one at that is not worshiping at the altar Obama? And that a progressive is concerned about his vote and lack of them as well?

Obama is saying that its the judgement that counts then why did he vote yes on S.5 The Class Action Fairness Act?

I am looking for a president not a preacher and not someone who will double talk into nothing. I want action and change. I just don't see him as someone who can deliver that.

Also, last time i checked i could vote for and choose NOT to vote if i wanted. I have heard many Obamabots say they would never vote for Hillary...this whole made up Obama supportive argument about the super delegates is being used as a threat.

Personally, i don't get it when Obama says you have to respect the rules of the DNC when it comes to Florida but when its about respecting the rules and rights of the SD he doesn't think that is fair. He should have raised that issue before the game started. DoubleSpeak!

I had to swallow a bitter pill with John Kerry, a man who conceded before the votes were counted in Ohio, i watched the democratic party give in in Florida without recounting the entire state and letting the supreme court select Bush. I will no longer vote who the party tells me to when i know at the end of the day they give up and don't care.

So, yes, I will reserve my right not to vote and it should hardly concern you if you think that Obama will just roll into office...then my little ol vote doesn't matter. Its just a beauty contest in Florida anyway.

[ Parent ]
read the comment (0.00 / 0)
I'm all for you pointing out what you don't like about Obama, or about why you think Hillary is better, if that is the case.  There are things I don't like about him too, and of course these things should be discussed.

And yes, you can vote for whomever you like, of course, or you can not vote at all.  In fact, no one is saying anything to the contrary!  But keep arguing by yourself if you like.

I will say, however, that if Obama were the nominee, and you wanted to either vote for McCain or not vote at all,  then I do think it's a little Nader2000-esque.  But hey -- convince me that McCain would be better than Obama, or no different than Obama, if that's how you feel.  Convince us all why we should just sit this election out and hail President McCain if Obama gets the nod.

Republicans can't fix our country; they're too busy saddlebacking.

[ Parent ]
Answers to a few of your statements (0.00 / 0)
You've made too many arguments, and unrelated ones for that, for me to take your comment seriously as genuine concern and try to reassure you. I'm not trying to convince you, but would just like to make a few points:

You think Obama is not electable and that would rationalize your vote for another candidate in the primaries. If he does end up being the nominee, how will this argument have any bearing at all? Will you not vote for him out of fear that McCain might win? What's the worst thing that could happen if you do vote for him? Am I missing something here?

You hear about how Obama does NOT raise money from individuals? Where do you hear that from? I'm an individual and have given him money in $100 and $200 increments since March 2007, till I reached the cap a couple of months ago. I've raised around $500 for him from friends and relatives by emailing them and persuading them to donate. Maybe I'm not an individual, but if not, I'd certainly like to hear about it so I can plan my life accordingly.

I do not agree with every vote Obama has cast or every position he has taken. Over all, I think his positions are far far superior to that of Mrs. Clinton but they are also far from perfect. I am not appointing a president, I am joining millions of others to voice my opinion and reach a consensus with them. The choice between Obama and Clinton is as clear for me as the choice between Bush and Kerry was in 2004. I understand that many did not see Kerry as worthy of their vote and still opted to vote for Ralph Nader, and while I disagree, I respect their idealism.

[ Parent ]
Hillary v. Obama (0.00 / 0)
Mike, thanks for your comment from a first-time poster, but long time "lurker" at Open Left. your own words have reaffirmed my commitment to Hillary:  "she was more progressive than most people give her credit for, and I found her to be incredibly smart and compassionate and tenacious about fighting for what she believed in. I think she would make a good President."

Of course, I have plenty of my own reasons for supporting Hillary, but it's nice to hear the above words from someone who knows her personally.

As a father of 2 college students, I am completely underwhelmed by the support Obama has garnered from our country's youngest voters.  I have had many opportunities to speak not only with my own kids, but a lot of their friends.  I have found that they like/love "what" he is: a smart, articulate, inspiring, young, cool guy... most of them don't get much beyond that other than their vague disgust for politics in general and how obama represents something new...

and this is coming from many of the best and brightest college students...  i'm not trying to brag about where my kids go to college, but i just want to say that i have considerable respect for the brilliance of their classmates in general.  additionally, my daughter attends one of the women's colleges (not Wellesley) formerly known as the the 7 sisters where you would expect to find more support for Hillary -- but, sadly, is not the case!

additionally, i just don't buy the argument about the "steal the nomination and/or scorched earth" path to the nomination.  superdelegates have always been a part of the process.  it is their job to vote for who they feel is the best candidate in the general election.  sure, it would be a problem if they reversed a substantial lead in pledged delegates, but not a 1 to 3 pct lead which is probably what we are talking about.  there are so many undemocratic aspects to the entire nominating process that focussing on the role of superdelegates seems to be a pro-obama partisan argument.

supporting obama so as to avoid potential fallout from the nominating process has no merit in my eyes.  anticipating the unknowable when voting is a good way to lose (e.g. john kerry)...

i will continue to support Hillary because i believe that she is the more qualified candidate and will make a better president than Obama.  in our culture, age and experience get short shrift.  i often tell my kids (one of whom supports Obama, the other Hillary) that if i were their age i would probably be voting for Obama, too...  but i can't erase my own personal experience and how it leaves me predisposed to support Hillary for president.  i understand why so many older voters are supporting Hillary and why the "kids" are supporting Obama.

Good point (0.00 / 0)
supporting obama so as to avoid potential fallout from the nominating process has no merit in my eyes.  anticipating the unknowable when voting is a good way to lose (e.g. john kerry)...

Thank you for articulating something I think about whenever I hear an "electability" argument. We don't know what's going to happen until it happens -- a candidate is electable if enough people vote to elect him or her, period. These sorts of arguments always seem like self-fulfilling prophecies to me -- we can speculate, but we just don't know. If this campaign season has taught us nothing else, it should be this.

i understand why so many older voters are supporting Hillary and why the "kids" are supporting Obama

As someone somewhere in between the "kids" and the older voters (somewhat closer to the "kids" if the number of times I still get carded is any indication), I have to say I don't understand this. I really, really want to see universal healthcare in this country -- something that has been an issue for me since I graduated college and was without insurance for the first time ever -- even with full-time employment in the "professional" world. I'm supporting Clinton, and initially this was the primary reason.  

[ Parent ]
I understand many Hillary supporters feel the same way you do.. (0.00 / 0)
However, I'm still floored why people consider her qualified, smart...

She didn't read the NIE's - then went on to make one of the most important decisions of our lifetime -- voting to send our troops into a war/occupation -- this while not bothering to think ahead and review the plans or resources of this war -- if if she did -- then is disqualified on that misjudgement alone.

Then, it appears she doesn't learn from her mistake (although I don't think she thought it was a mistake) and goes ahead and votes for the Kyl-Lieberman resolution that basically gives Bush the OK to now bomb Iran... this while our troops are exhausted and our country is basically bankrupt.. Qualifed?  That attribute doesn't come up on my Hillary credential sheet.

She has a failed health "insurance" plan on her resume that she fails to debate or release records so that we may judge her on her experience.  Meanwhile, all we have to go on is that is now the top candidate that is swimming in military and health insurance special interest money == up to our eye balls...  Progressive my foot and compassionate...? Compassionate only when you don't show any signs of dissent.  "Tenacious" maybe, but I've seen no restraint nor reflection with regard to welding that tenacity.

Also, with NAFTA she's full of bull.

Hell no... Hillary is totally finished looking at my tally.

I don't think she smart - she's ruthless -- one thing to play ruthless against the republicans but when you are playing dirty with someone who's supposed to be on the same side... BAD OMEN... in my books.

She's desperate == using republican 'fear' tactics.  Tactics that (we know) create really bad consequences.  Since 2004, well really Katrina, I've tried to throw my support behind the Democratic Party so that they would denounce these type of tactics == to help find a better way to get to the electorate -- Obama I felt was/IS trying to do that... by showing that WE can be powerful IF we work together [you know... for example: continuing to build the 50 State Strategy vs. having the prospect of a DLC Strategy whereby we're told the power brokers know what's best for the Party (Hoyer for one].  Hillary is using republican tactics that play on our lower emotions -- those emotions that have been shown to 'work' but often push us to make quick decisions that often end up being bad decisions...

If she continues down this route, we might as well desolve the Democratic Party and call it the republican-lite party.  She is not showing leadership with this type of tactic.

I'll tell you I'm just totally floored sometimes how totally divided we are when we look at Hillary -- We see and hear the same speeches, read the evidence and still come up with a completely different person...

btw: You've got great daughter there!

[ Parent ]
Hillary's not perfect, but neither is Obama (0.00 / 0)
Hillary on MTP:

SEN. CLINTON: I was fully briefed by the people who wrote that. I was briefed by the people from, you know, the State Department, the CIA, the Department of Defense; all of the various players in that. And many people who read it--well, actually, not very many people read the whole thing because we were getting constant briefings. And people--some people read it and voted for the resolution, some people read it and voted against the resolution. I felt very well briefed. And it wasn't just what the Bush administration was telling us in the NIE, I went way outside of any kind of Bush administration sources; independent people, people from the Clinton administration, people in the British government. I looked as broadly as I could at how to assess this.

Hillary on MSNBC, Oct. 11, 2007:

OLBERMANN: Senator, a lot of people were mystified, couldn't fathom your vote on the Kyl-Lieberman Amendment that urged naming the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization, since it's part of their governmental military structure, no matter what we might think of that government. With one constitutional scholar on our program who wondered if just the vote by itself might not constitute a kind of declaration or even act of war. Do you think it's one of those?

CLINTON: Absolutely not. And I think people have either misunderstood or decided to misrepresent the meaning of that vote. I believe in using pressure and sanctions as a tool of diplomacy, and that includes against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

There is no doubt that they are a key sponsor of terrorism and that they have been providing weapons and advice to the people who are attacking and killing and maiming Americans in Iraq.

But I've also been, I think, among the first when I went to floor in February, to say the president had absolutely no authority to take any action against Iran. And I have joined up with Senator Jim Webb to put that into law.

As for Obama he MISSED the Kyl-Lieberman vote which he admitted was a mistake.  Joseph Wilson's article at Huffington Post on March 2, 2007:

"On Iran and the question of designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization, the junior senator from Illinois was not quite so clever at avoiding taking a position. He first co-sponsored the "Counter-Proliferation Act of 2007," which contained explicit language identifying the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization. He subsequently claimed to oppose the Kyl-Lieberman sense of the Senate resolution proposing the same thing. Obama's accountability problem here is that he didn't show up for the vote on that resolution -- a vote that would have put him on record. Then he declined to sign on to a letter put forward by Senator Clinton making explicit that the resolution could not be used as authority to take military action. All we have is Obama's rhetoric juxtaposed with his co-sponsorship of a piece of legislation that proposed what he says he opposed."  

[ Parent ]
Robert Reich v. David Gergen: Hillary on NAFTA (0.00 / 0)
both guys were there according to themselves and say completely opposite things:

there's your link to Reich above and then there's Gergen you can see here:

[ Parent ]
"superdelegates have always been a part of the process" (0.00 / 0)
Do you have an example of when superdelegates reversed a candidate's lead in pledged delegates, no matter how small that lead may have been?

You define a lead of 1 to 3 percent as not being substantial. Given half the super-delegates, a candidate would need around 1600 pledged delegates for the nomination. Three percent of that is 48 delegates. Are you saying 48 delegates is not substantial? Do you realize that the largest delegate margin Clinton has EVER gotten is from New York and it's 46 delegates? Do you consider that insignificant?

It is sad to see you attempt reason and logic but then lose all respect in your closing paragraphs by calling Obama supporters "kids". Please understand that some of us would love to be called kids again, but your choice of discounting our opinion reflect more on you than on any Obama supporter.

[ Parent ]
superdelegates and "kids" (0.00 / 0)
first, i was attempting to say that superdelegates have always been a part of the process since this election began.  maybe i wasn't clear on that point.  by focussing on my random use of "1 to 3 pct" it is an attempt to distort my larget point that there is nothing particularly democratic about the way that these primaries are run.  it's a completely flawed system, so just complaining about the superdelegates seems disengenuous.

as for my use of the word "kids" (with quotes), it is clear that i am referring to my own kids and the quotes are meant to mean that i am including their friends (and perhaps their friends' friends), but i am not calling all obama supporters "kids" in a derogatory way.  in fact, earlier in my post i called these "kids" the "best and brightest" as well as "brilliant."

your criticism of my earlier post is an attempt to twist and distort my words without really adding anything to the conversation.

[ Parent ]
Sorry, I was a little touchy (0.00 / 0)
That's what happens when you have conversations with anti-Obama people over at the Daily Kos, you get touchy and look for various insults in others' posts.

I agree that superdelegates have been there and it's not against the rules for them to flip the results. My point was that they've been there for a few decades now, there have been other close races (Hart vs. McGovern comes to mind) but they have never flipped the pledged delegate count.

The problem is, if they do it this time, I'm sure the media will make note of that and remind people that it's a first. You said yourself that if they reversed a substantial lead, you agree that it would be problematic. We probably agree on that, so it just comes down to defining a substantial lead and I think it could be 1% but is certainly not 3% (as explained before). Now the issue at play here, is that Hillary will most likely not be able to close the "substantial" gap either and therefore a superdelegate flip will be seen as stealing the election.

[ Parent ]
OK then How do we win? (0.00 / 0)
Welcome aboard. We need to figure out how to put him over the top. He needs help closing this deal. How do we help him?

Not much point in endorsements (0.00 / 0)
No endorsement will make the slightest bit of difference.  One one is dropping out anytime soon.

I'm a Clinton supporter, for a lot of reasons that others have articulated.  I think Obama's a fine man, and a good candidate.  I understand that people can come to different conclusions about electability, etc.  

What I don't understand is why the Obama supporters are playing this game of having a moral right to kill Clinton's campaign.  Today's excuse is that it's bad for the party.  The fact is that the party is split 50-50.  Each side is equally capabale, and equally incapable, of making this good or bad for the party.  If Clinton's general support among Democrats were eroding, there might be some point.  Calling her "desperate" is a little irritating - she speaks for 50% of us.  Although the process is flawed, the delegate race is essentially tied - a difference of 100 delegates in this screwy system is no reflection of the popular will.

Because both need to rely on superdelegates, and there will be no satisfactory resolution to Florida and Michigan, neither side can win without creating bad feelings for supporters on the other side.  That's just a fact.  There are many Clinton supporters - mainly Reagan Democrats - who will go to McCain or lose interest if Obama gets the nomination. There are many Obama supporters - young people, some independents - who will lose interest if Clinton is the nominee. The net effect, either way, is hard to determine.  So, pretending there is an easy out, that one candidate doesn't have passionate, unique and important support, is just wrong.

The second thing I don't get is the bubble Obama and his supporters live in.  It isn't hitting below the belt to run an ad on national security.  It is going to be much tougher in the general.  I know Clinton can handle the attacks; I don't know that Obama can.  I know he can run an underdog campaign, I know he can raise money - but much of his appeal seems to be that he portrays himself as above the fray.  But he can't remain pure forever.  I'm not suggesting that the campaign on either side become nasty.  I am suggesting that Obama hasn't ever proved himself in a contested election against a Republican, and I have real doubts about whether he can do what is necessary to win against McCain and/or retain the halo that gets some of his supporters so excited.  Now, the roles are reversed - Obama is the frontrunner, and Clinton is gaining - and it looks like he must hit Clinton.  Within limits, that is good for everyone.

I just sent another chunk of change to Clinton, as did millions of other people this week.  I'd sure be disappointed if she folded up shop.  Because fewer Clinton supporters post on blogs, I think bloggers have no idea how many people are passionate about Clinton, who will work to keep her competitive financially.  The day that I and others like me stop writing checks is the day that her campaign folds.  The same is true for Obama.  

The time for meaningful endorsements has passed.  Both candidates have significant support in the Democratic establishment, and a couple more names on one side or the other won't make much difference.  There is no easy - or even easiest - solution to the deadlock, other than to let the process play out.  The Obama folks interrupted Clinton's coronation.  That doesn't mean that he has a right to a coronation himself.

Great Points (0.00 / 0)
You just articulated everything I could ever want to say.  

[ Parent ]
portions of this discussion and similar ones that are worse elsewhere is why mccain is going to win (0.00 / 0)

Wow - what ever happened to loyalty?? What ever happened to dancing with the person who brought you to the dance??

OK - loyalty aside - cause clearly you don't have any of that --

I can't believe that you are buying into the concept that if Obama doesn't get the election - people will feel like it was stolen.

What about all of us who support Hillary - here in Ohio - 80+ counties went for her - Any thought to the fact that we might feel disenfrancised, if she if forced out of the race because Alaska went to Obama?? You ask about the youth vote, the AA vote - how will they feel if Obama doesn't get the nomination. Well what about voters like me - women, mothers, small business owners??

Frankly if the Democratic Party forces Hillary out of the race based on the few Democrats in states like Nebraska, Kansas and Alaska - when Hillary has won NY, NJ, NH, MA, CA, AR, NV, TX, OH to name a few, it is crap and those of us in those states are going to feel just as disenfrancised.  Do you really think that pissing off half the population (ie women) is really the best thing for the Democratic party???

That seems like it might be a recipe for disaster this fall as well.

Obama doesn't inspire me and the rest of the country that voted for Hillary, so quit telling us that our votes don't matter, that it is the youth vote in Utah that really counts.

Maybe instead of writing Hillary off (and turning your back on your benefactor) you should be writing about how she has won all the states that the party needs to win in order to win the election and Obama should be packing up his marbles and going home.

Really? Loyalty? (0.00 / 0)
Is that what you think loyalty is about? I would hope a progressive democrat... heck, any individual, would first and foremost be loyal to his country and his people. I would hope s/he would not for one second put personal loyalties and political relationships ahead of what s/he thinks is best for the people and the country.

I am happy to see that you've been following and know which states Hillary has won. I am also happy to help by giving you a more comprehensive list of the states Obama has won. Please tell me which ones are insignificant and don't matter, aside from Nebraska, Kansas and Alaska that you've already mentioned:

Iowa, Nevada, S. Carolina, Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, N. Dakota, Utah, Louisiana, Nebraska, Virgin Isl., Wash., Maine, DC, Maryland, Virginia, Dems Abrd, Hawaii, Wisconsin, Texas, Vermont

[ Parent ]

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