Saturday, March 22, 2008
Ok, out of appreciation and respect to my readers who clearly disagree with my position on the battle between Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clionton, I will attempt once more to demonstrate the only things that matter right now in this race: facts. After this, I will no longer engage in the back and forth debating over Hillary's right to stay in the race and her supporters' right to see this through until the end. I will continue to blog about what I see on the campaign trail, and readers are free to debate amongst themselves on the message board. I've clearly demonstrated my objectivty here, and have stated my position repeatedly. So, while I know the following indesputable facts might mess with the fantasy, here they are again to ponder nonetheless...
Fact #1: The party requires 2025 delegates to win the nomination, not 2000, 1900, 1800 or 1700. That number exists for a reason. If neither candidate achieves that level, neither candidate wins. The party does not have a "whoever has the most delegates wins" system.
Fact #2: The party instituted the super-delegate system over 25 years ago to serve as the decision-making body in the event no one reaches the minimum, or "wins." The super D system exists to handle contested situations exactly like the one we have now
Fact #3: Obama and Hillary are separated by just about 2% in popular vote
Fact #4: Obama and Hillary are separated by just about 10% in delegates
Fact #5: Hillary has won most of the big Democratic must-win states for the general election. Obama has not.
Fact #6: the latest polls show that Obama has lost appreciable ground among independents. Neither candidate will win anything without a majority of independents
Fact #7: a new Franklin & Marshall College poll in Pennsylvania shows that among voters in that state (whose very significant primary is April 22), Obama's unfavorability rating has increased from 16% to 25% from mid-February
Fact #8: a new USA Today/Gallup poll has Clinton with a 49%-42% lead over Obama. Just over a week ago Obama led 50%-44%.
Again, these are inarguable facts. One can choose to ignore them, spin them or wish them away. But what you can't do is refute them. That's the beauty of facts. And it is precisely these facts that keep Clinton in the race.
And now for little closing editorial, although it essentially is fact as well: As harsh as this may be for Obama's supporters to hear and grasp, he will not reach the 2025 minimum because he will not have convinced enough Democratic voters to vote for him. Because he clearly has not "united" the party. Because he really only has roughtly half of the party behind him. Certainly no mandate, and no justification whatsoever to expect Clinton to back out at this point. The battle between him and Hillary rages on--much to the chagrin of him and his supporters--because the race is so close. If it weren't, none of us would be wasting any time on it, and Hillary would have dropped out long ago. What we have is a heated race. Some claim that Hillary's dividing the party by staying in the contest. I call it Democracy in action. She has a right to run, and voters have a right to support her without being vilified by the opposition for being divisive, un-American, un-patriotic and racist. This kind of bullying is not what the Democratic Party stands for.
I think it's pretty presumptuous and arrogant (not to mention incredibly naive and unrealistic) to feel someone's breath on your neck as you dash to the finish line and then turn around and demand that they exit the race so you can "win."
A final thought to the Obama supporters: you are certain of his inevitability. You feel it's a slam-dunk that his lead is convincing the super D's to support him. You repeatedly claim that "it's over." If so, then why not let it play out till the end? Why are you so against letting the process--the one laid out by the party over 25 years ago--run its course? Why are you repeatedly calling for an early end? Perhaps it's because you're not that confident after all? That you worry that somehow the process may result with Hillary as the victor? In sports, one team could be down by a zillion runs/points and the game still plays until the end. As Yogi Berra aptly said, "It ain't over till it's over." It's time to accept that.