Tuesday, February 12, 2008

"Men at some time are masters of their fates": Obama takes Control

Listening to the Clinton campaign in the aftermath of the devastating results of the past week, it occurred to me that she and Rudy should form a "Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda" ticket: Unable to compete and helplessly watching her support slip away, she desperately tries to change the rules of the game, talking about her new "firewall" in Texas. It's laughably absurd to think that she will salvage some miraculous 5% victory and bounce back into the lead, as we all saw how that worked for the other "inevitable" candidate, Rudy. Down by over 100 delegates after tonight, the message is clear: start winning big or step aside. Billary is quickly becoming anathema to a Democratic Party that is beginning to really believe in the change that Obama speaks of, and as belief grows it is accompanied by a visceral need to shut the door on the past and turn the page on the Clinton era. There were 23 states left after Super Tuesday: Obama has won all 7 states since then, leaving him with 22 victories to her 10, and the road doesn't look any better for Clinton heading into Hawaii and Wisconsin. Billary dismissed caucus votes from the weekend, saying the caucus system is not inclusive enough, then got destroyed even worse in today's primaries. They enjoyed the caucus when they won in Nevada, yet they have been reduced to spinning their multitudinous defeats and talking about their past victories. Stressing your victories in big states such as California doesn't help you when you're getting wiped out day after day. Moreover, as the old saying goes, "In California, drive 50 miles away from the coast and you're in Oklahoma." Clinton won Oklahoma also, but that seemed like years ago in a campaign structure and media that feeds on what have you done lately.

We live in an era of TV attention spans, and all anyone sees now is a Clinton team that is 0-7 since last week and staring at 0-9 next week. The seats are starting to vacate and the supporters are slowly slipping away from the campaign, as well as campaign managers. Billary's arrogance led them to appoint a hapless neophyte like Patti Solis to run their campaign. Like a precocious child, Solis panicked when confronted with someone like Obama who stood up and punched back. It didn't take a genius to run an "inevitability" campaign. Thank goodness Billary was too cheap and confident to hire someone as competent as James Carville, who could have really helped craft a viable message. Instead, Hillary wanted a "yes woman" when she needed someone to demand that she control Bill before it was too late and that she develop a message that was more uplifting than the trite "ready from Day One." Instead, she hired someone who admitted that she thought it would be a much shorter battle to win the nomination. Indeed, as I suggested last week, Clinton may finish the rest of the season 0-23. It's really quite simple: Win all 4 states on March 4th with over 60% of the vote or do the right thing and drop out, which unfortunately, seems almost unimaginable for Billary, but one can hope that as Frank Rich discussed in the New York Times the Clintons do not counter Obama's 1960 with their own 1968 with "a race-tinged brawl at the convention some nine weeks before Election Day."

Obama is destroying Billary in state after state, and he may not lose another, certainly not by the numbers that he is trouncing Clinton: Obama won with 68% in Washington, 68% in Nebraska, 57% in Louisiana, and 59% in Maine this weekend, and tonight in Virginia, D.C. and Maryland the results were even more decisive. It was a drubbing beyond comprehension, as Obama wiped Clinton out in EVERY category: Last Tuesday he won 57% of young voters, tonight he won 68%; last Tuesday he won 35% of older voters, tonight he won 51%; last Tuesday he won 43% of women voters, tonight he won 59%; last Tuesday, he won 35% of rural voters, tonight he won 59%. The Hispanics whom Clinton aides cynically suggested were too racist to vote for Obama? He won a majority of them also. Those groups are the Clinton base voters, and Obama has effectively taken them from her, which in essence means this race is over unless she quickly reverses the tide or the Clintonian dirty trick machine can steal enough superdelegates through relentless arm-twisting or backroom deals to put her over the top, but that looks increasingly unlikely, for everyone--even superdelegates--loves a winner, and as Obama continues to roll through state after state with landslide after landslide, the will of the voters will be impossible to deny.

The whole notion of superdelegates whose votes count for as much as 13,000 or more votes is undemocratic and highly corrupt, especially when one considers that the Clintons' stated personal wealth is $35 million while Obama's is $1.3 million. Is anyone gullible enough to think some of those "supers" could not be purchased? How the Clintons, who came to D.C. in 1992 without even owning a home, amassed that kind of fortune is worthy of a serious investigation, but unlike Obama, the Clintons refuse to release their tax returns. What do they have to hide?
Superdelegates should vote for the candidate who won their district so that they are respresented proportionally to the popular vote in each state. This is the only way to avoid rampant corruption, and if that means that Obama supporters Kennedy and Kerry vote for Clinton because she won Mass., so be it, as long as Obama gets superdelegates in districts where he won. Americans value a fair game, and cheaters beware, especially if you're an elected official. Most politicians are afraid to throw the will of the voters in the toilet, so I remain hopeful that the person who wins the most states and delegates will garner the superdelegates necessary to secure the nomination. The alternative is downright frightening: Blood in the streets of Denver...

In the meantime, McFossil, surrounded by the same boring white bread he calls his base, delivered another somnolent "victory speech" after barely surviving another round with Ol' Huck-up. What does it say about McCain that he can barely beat someone as flawed as Huckabee? I don't get it, for as boring and dated as McCain and his views are, he is much more prepared to be president than an idiot like Huckabee, yet here is McCain, battling for every state in an election that is effectively over. He has the nomination but no one in the GOP wants him to have it. It's humorous and ironic, as he simply doesn't seem to have many supporters. To quote David Lee Roth who once famously claimed that music critics liked Elvis Costello because they all looked like Elvis Costello, McCain supporters are pretty much limited to guys who look like John McCain. Having said that, the guy may be the next president simply because this country is heading into unchartered waters. Will enough racists converge to vote against Obama instead of for McCain? That could very well happen, as it is clear that McCain has no appeal outside that narrow group that stood behind him on stage tonight. Why is race brought up? Because all McCain has proven is that hardly anyone is actually FOR him: Look at the numbers of voters who have actually showed up and cast a vote for the man. The number is miniscule compared to either Democratic candidate. This does not bode well for the general election, as McCain knows that no one is interested in voting for him, so he has to motivate them to vote against his opponent. The GOP smear machine is gearing up for a new level of slime, but whether it will be politics as usual remains to be seen. The future of the country depends on how the nation answers that question in 2008.

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