Monday, March 3, 2008

I'm Starting To Get Worried

Voters in 4 states are going to be choosing between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama tomorrow in what has been dubbed Super Tuesday II by the news media. In this post a few weeks ago I wrote that I thought that she would get out of the race before she started to hurt the party by fighting things out all the way up to the convention. It seems that I may have been mistaken (I know; I'm as surprised as you are).

For a long time now people in the Clinton camp, including Bill, have been saying that if she doesn't win both of the delegate-rich states of Texas and Ohio by a decent margin that she will be forced to quit the race. Now rumors are swirling that as long as she doesn't lose one of them she will stay in this thing and that a loss of either is now a repudiation of Obama by the voters. They sure do know how to control the narrative, don't they?

So now the word is that if this happens, she's going to pull out all the stops: screaming and yelling about how the Florida and Michigan delegates should be seated, contesting the Texas caucus results in court and leaning heavily on the as yet uncommitted super delegates to vote her way. To make matters worse, the only way Obama can get the requisite number of pledged delegates (2025) before the convention is if he wins 85% of them in the remaining primaries, a highly unlikely scenario since none of the Democratic primaries are winner take all. I can just hear the right wingers salivating at the prospect of a knock-down, drag-out fight between the two of them all the way up to the convention. Rush Limbaugh is already exhorting his Dittohead zombies to cross party lines and vote against Obama because he knows that John McCain doesn't have a chance against him in the general election.

So yes, I'm worried. I cringe at the prospect of Clinton sacrificing party unity and what I think is the next best hope for this nation in the name of her own personal greed and sense of entitlement. Although I can't say that I'm surprised, I will definitely say that I'm gravely disappointed. We should know more in 24 hours. Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

Can you blame her, though? You've lived your entire life with aspirations to reach this one career goal. You're right on the cusp of it. Sure, maybe your party would like for you to make it easy on them. But you've got nearly half the country on your side, and hopefully more. You've spent millions upon millions over other people's money, as well as your own, to achieve this career goal. You're still in it. There's no way that I'm quitting in the 11th hour unless I've simply changed my mind about wanting the job in the first place.

Quitting right now would be going against everything that comes natural to the human race.

Matt said...

Yeah, but at the same time Sterling, she's vying for the top public service job in American government. At some point, you have to question if her motives are to best serve the American public or her own career aspirations. At the end of the day, if she's doing this for her own goals and satifaction, she's doing it for all the wrong reasons. Granted, you have to have a pretty big opinion of yourself and your opinions to run for president in the first place, but if you put yourself and your own desires above that of the people who will be subject to (or potentially subject to) your leadership and policies, there's a pretty good chance you will end up as a not-so-great leader.

JBW said...

I have to agree with Matthew. The operative word here is service. This isn't a cage match or an episode of "Survivor", it's the presidency of the United States. Class should count. Character should count. There are things that I want that I could probably get if I screamed and yelled and used dirty tricks until I got them but I choose not to because I don't want to be that kind of person. And I don't want my president to be that kind of person either. I'm sure that not everyone reading this blog is as enamored of Obama as I am but you have to give the guy credit for running one of the cleanest campaigns in recent memory and doing as well as he's done. At least he's making a real effort to stay above the fray. So yes, I can blame her and I do.

Anonymous said...

Well I am far from a Clinton-backer, but I still don't see any fault with her staying in the race. YET. There are certainly outcomes today that can make the entire argument a bit moot, but to say that she's not serving the American people by staying in the race seems a little biased.

I don't even begin to know where to look to see what the hard numbers are, but I've read over and over that whoever wins today, probably wins the race. Obama is leading, but not by ridiculous margin, correct? Do you have numbers? Asking Hillary to simply quit if she doesn't sweep today seems a bit over the top.

If you can point me in the proper direction of statistics (I like facts) then I'll stop playing contrarian. But there are a lot of people across the country who gave money and voted for her to be president. Fighting for the job may be selfish in itself, but the nationwide support shows that she has good reason. Especially if she wins today.

Give me numbers.

Oh, and I voted for Barack today. 2 reasons:
1. I am done with presidential dynasties.
2. He has really nice graphic design.

Also, there's a guy here in TX running for TX Supreme Court Justice. (I did my research on all of the races ahead of time, by the way.) Anyway, his opponent is some younger guy named Balthasar Cruz. The guy that will probably win? An older guy named Sam Houston. Think that was a fair race?

Anonymous said...

ok, so both of them still have a long way to go. 2,025? I really don't get the thought that this thing is completely over as of right this second. IF Clinton wins Texas and Ohio, could that not give her enough delegates to pull even? I'd also think that winning both would be good momentum. No?


Help me.

JBW said...

Still hard to tell who will take which of the big 2 at this point (7:30 my time) as Clinton's votes will come in later in Txas and Obama's will come in later in Ohio. Yes, winning both states would be good momentum for either candidate but there is winning and then there is winning: if Obama loses 51-49 in each state, he can still beat her in the delegate count by a net of 7 and that's not counting the texas caucus delegates (are you caucusing tonight?) that should break Obama's way since he does very well in caucuses. Winning stats outright are good for bragging rights but the delegate count is the number everyone is watching.

As far as total numbers go, it is a statistical long shot for Obama to get 2025 before the convention as I mentioned in my post but it is a statistical impossibility for Clinton to do the same. I'm sorry I don't have links for you; I've been watching the coverage on cable news all day so most of my info has come to me aurally.

I don't doubt that I sound biased discussing this issue and as an admitted Obama supporter I guess that I am but I try to leave those feelings aside when I handicap the races. My reasons for wanting her to step aside are not just because I like Obama but because every poll I've seen says Obama (regardless of my support for him) has the best chance of beating McCain in the general election. As I wrote in my post, even Republicans know this and that's where some of Clinton's support is coming from. I think it would be a gift to McCain for Clinton and Obama to go at each other for the next 3-4 months, doing much of his work for him. I'm sure you wouldn't mind this Sterling but it's something I don't want to watch.

JBW said...

Here, let Johnny Alter of Newsweek explain the numbers: http://www.newsweek.com/id/118240/output/print

Anonymous said...

I'm still not sure how the caucus works. I guess the Texas Caucus has never mattered in my lifetime? Is it a meeting throughout the night or a write-a-name-on-the-paper-and-leave sort of deal? I was planning on going over there last night before our dinner guests arrived at 7:30, but as time got closer I was frantically tidying things up around the house and then started to worry that the caucus would not be a short thing. So no, I didn't get over there. I have confidence that the Obama faithful showed up en masse. On my way home from work I passed 3 different Obama groups with signs. I never saw any Clinton folks.

You seem to continue to paint me with a Republican brush, and that I'm devious enough to care that the Democrats slice and dice each other all summer. Dude, you are giving me way too much credit and stereotyping at the same time. Frankly, I wish the whole thing was over so that I wouldn't have to be hit over the head with it everyday.

I know that there ARE ways that a prolonged election could supposedly hurt BOTH candidates. From my standpoint, though, nothing about their platforms will change from now until November. They're still the same people with the same opinions of the job. Either I'm going to vote for them or I won't. So you're correct in this regard. I don't care if it takes 4 years for them to sort this out because it won't change their electability in my eyes, or many other Americans' eyes.

Clinton will never get my vote. She's a Clinton. Just like a Bush would not get my vote either. We live in a big country, SURELY we can find different people qualified and ready to lead our country. She actually has a number of campaign issues that I agree with, so it's too bad that I've made this sweeping decision. (Though I completely stand by this decision as being legitimate.)

Obama could get my vote. I agree with a lot of his stances and he seems like he's doing this for all the right reasons. I don't feel like we could ever be friends, but I do feel like he'd try to take care of me... like family.

I have no idea what McCain stands for over there. Researching his issues hasn't been necessary yet, so I haven't bothered. All I know about McCain is that he's a liberal conservative, which appeals to me. Because he's conservative? No. Because that probably means he's pretty centrist. I think centrists are good.

As this thing shakes out and I've got my two choices then I'll bother to make my comparisons. I have no preconceived idea that I'll vote one way or the other. We'll see how it goes.