Friday, March 28, 2008
The infighting among Democrats is at a fever pitch. Neither Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama has convinced enough voters to give them the minimum number of delegates needed to win the nomination. That's an inarguable fact. We all need to digest it and accept it. For the first time in 55 years, and no matter what happens over the next five months, Democrats will head to their August convention with no clear nominee. So, what we'll possibly have is a brokered convention if the heated contest doesn't somehow end sooner, which is not likely. Clinton vowed this week to stay in until at least mid-June, and possibly all the way to the end. Is there fallout from this protracted battle? Maybe so. Polls indicate that as much as 25%-30%of Clinton/Obama supporters will vote for the GOP's Sen. John McCain in November if their candidate is not the nominee. Pretty scary stuff.
What happens next for Democrats? It's unlikely Clinton or Obama will exit the race anytime soon, and it would appear that the Dems' chances of winning the White House--once an almost sure thing given the war, the economy, and voters' overall desire for change--might be evaporating fast. Desperate measures for desperate times? Consider this prediction from Democratic consultant Joe Trippi in April 2007:
"I may be the first idiot foolish enough to say it out loud, but we could be looking at something unheard of in the modern era, someone going into convention with only 30%-40% of delegates....What could happen is that we're headed for a brokered convention.... Polls are all basically in dead heats. Not one is going to blow out the other....If they keep this pace up, they'd have enough money to go all the way. I never thought I'd say this in modern politics that it's possible to have a brokered convention...fighting it down to the last state."
Quite prescient of Trippi. But wait, it gets better: "If there was a brokered convention going on, that Al Gore coming in and winning the nomination could be how that plays out."
Al Gore to the rescue? I like the way Trippi thinks. And, as anyone who knows me and has read this blog for the last few years knows that having Gore as our nominee is something I personally think would be incredible for Democrats and for the country as a whole. Is it fantasy at this point? Perhaps. But, like Trippi said, we're also talking about an extremely unusual election. It's quite possible that anything and everything can and will happen as we head towards Denver. Is there a scenario where the powers that be--superdelegates and various party officials--can persuade the former veep and each other that the only way to salvage our chances in November is with, hypothetically, a Gore/Obama ticket? With an offer to Clinton as Secretary of State perhaps? Would this be fair? Sure. Neither Clinton or Obama will have "won," so, anything's possible now. Is it viable? Hell yeah. A Gore/Obama/Clinton slate would not only unite the party, but blow past the aging, out-of-touch war-monger McCain in the general election.
Could this be the moment Gore truly waited for? The opportunity for him to watch the candidates cancel each other out--as I've written about countless times--and step in as the "draft" candidate prior to or at a chaotic convention? To become the nominee without having to endure the extended rigors of a contentious primary season? A fantasy indeed. But if the current Democratic blood-letting doesn't end at some point with a a viable outcome which unites voters, come November it could be a nightmare.
On another note, we could use your help at The The Adrienne Shelly Foundation. We are a tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've established scholarships, grants, finishing funds and living stipends at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; Columbia University; American Film Institute; Women in Film; the Independent Feature Project; the Nantucket Film Festival; and the Sundance Institute. We're very pleased to announce that one of last year's grant recipients, Cynthia Wade, just won an Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject for "Freeheld." We are proud of Cynthia and to have supported this film. Your generous contribution will go a long way towards helping us continue to achieve our very important mission.