Monday, June 2, 2008
The Political Hoedown
South Dakota & Montana; The Last Two Weeks; "Will, Should & Want"
My ancestral homeland and that state with the militias are voting today. South Dakota and Montana are the last two Democratic primary states, and their results will either force the issue of withdrawal on Clinton or bolster a claim of resurgance and popular vote victory. Montana will break for Obama, as the mountain/west states generally have, and South Dakota...that's a trickier proposition.
Looking at the state (I just spent the last week there), it has a breakdown of largely white, middle-class families with the agro-influence you'd expect from a high plains state. There are also a smattering of minorities, but their role won't be as big here. And though the very west of the state is mountainous, I don't see it following the trend of the other mountain states. All things considered, Obama will probably win there. I didn't see much of a Barack presence (there were more Hillary signs and commercials), and he did flub up a little at a recent rally in Sioux Falls, SD ("Hello Sioux City!" ...followed by confused clapping and silence, when it was obvious he'd not realized his mistake). But there's momentum to consider and the states around and how they broke. SD blue-collar workers, or their equivalent on the farm, aren't the same as steel mill workers.
It won't be a big delegate loss or gap for her tonight, but will further highlight her diminishing cause.
So I've been working or out of town for the last two weeks, and unable to keep your all informed. Here's a brief rundown of the major news, relating to the election.
*Oregon goes to Obama, Kentucky to Clinton. Both were no-brainers, but Clinton's win in Kentucky was a repeat of her smash vicotry in West Virginia, and resulted in some intersting exit polling. Basically, Obama doesn't have a lot of friends here. So Hillary wins again by a landslide in a state Obama didn't even compete in but matters in the fall, while Obama wins in a state that the Democrats have little chance of losing in the fall. At the end of the nigh, he is left less than 80 delegates short of the nomination and she remains latched onto this race like a Doberman on your crotch.
*Obama's rapport with white, blue-collar workers is officially nonexistant and in related obviousness, freezing water makes ice cubes.
*Obama quits Trinity United Church, citing personal reasons (it would be a distraction in the campaign, and he wants a church where he can sit in the pew and /not/ be singled out).
*The DNC rules committee rules on Michigan and Florida, letting them all sit, but saying their delegates get half votes. Hillary nets over 30 pledged delegates, but Obama's lead stays above 170 (which is still only a few percentage points when you think about it, hardly indicative of a mandate). Clinton loyalists scream, Obamians grimace, but no one dies. The world still turns, and Clinton...you guessed it...is still here, and now claims the popular vote is hers!
*Puerto Rico goes 2:1 for Hillary, but the turnout was weak (380k). We must admit, there were no major ballot initiatives to get people out, and on the major issues to Puerto Ricans, Obama and Hillary more/less agree. A win for the lady in pink!
*Reports come in early June 3 that Hillary will concede, only to be refuted by campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe. Are there some moles within the Clinton staff? Rumor has it (strong, strong rumor) that Clinton's advanced team has been shut down; they are the ones setting up speeches and activities. While they would have a slower go of it without primaries, advanced teams help to lay the foundation for the general election. Many volunteer staffers have already been told June 15th is the last day. Does this mean the Clinton campaign machine is being >>dismantled<< or retooled?
*Obama's camp - backed up by an AP story - claim victory in delegate totals, claiming there are enough Superdelegates coming out today, tonight and tomorrow to clinch the nomination.
*Hillary is still latched onto your crotch and a Doberman is in the race, or something. Long/short, she's still here until at least tonight.
What Will Be: Hillary loses Montana, ekes out a victory (or small small small defeat) in South Dakota, gets a financial, campaign funds - but no political - concession from Obama and becomes a leading Dem in the Senate.
What Should Be: Obama wins Montana, Hillary wins South Dakota. She uses her clout and, frankly, massive national support to arm wrestle money from Obama as well as one of the following: VP slot, Secretary of State, Senate Majority Leader or Supreme Court justice (should the need arise). The last two will probably be in conjunction, former until the latter. Her importance is too great to simply throw away for nebulous "change," the argument for the above goes, and she needs to be rewarded somehow and in a major way. The Senate is a good runner-up prize to the presidency, as is Sec of State. And to be a justice! C'mon!
What I Want: Hillary bullies on to the convention, satisfied in the notion that she has 47%+ of the delegates, closer to 50% of the popular vote and a drive following. She shouldn't go quietly into that so-on-and-etc. I want to see a convention that matters, with her making a case like the lawyer she is why she deserves the prize. Superdelegates can still change sides and Obama isn't the golden god of politics. I can see a march in the streets, her supporters hammering on the convention hall doors like Hannibal at the gates of Rome.
We'll chat more tomorrow.