Tag Archives: Democratic nominee

Yo, Superdelegates, your moment in time is now

Listen up, Supers.  This is the moment you were created for.

You’ve prepared for it.  You’ve practiced for it.  You’re ready.  This is why you exist.  (No.  Supers were not invented just to guarantee nice floor seats at the convention.)

Your job is to insure the good of the party, to step in and act when needed so that Democrats, top and down ballot, will be elected in November.

Some years your wisdom and courage isn’t needed, but this year it’s needed big time.  The field has narrowed to two candidates.  Neither candidate will get to the magic number of 2025 based on the primary/caucus process alone, but one candidate will be ahead in every metric—popular vote, pledged delegates, and states won.

Our front-runner is an extraordinary leader, offering a new kind of politics and bringing new voices and energy to the Democratic party.

There’s just one problem.  The runner-up won’t quit the campaign.

In fact, the race was decided on March 4.  In the words of her surrogate in chief, the former president, Senator Clinton needed a big win in both Ohio and Texas to stay in the race.  She did get a strong win, but not strong enough to leave her as a realistic contender.  But with a 25-point lead in Pennsylvania—turf just made for her—and with a hoped for uptick in contributions, she decided to campaign on.  That wasn’t good, but it was understandable.

Then comes the Pennsylvania primary.  Anything short of a 20-point victory wouldn’t be enough.  But her 25-point lead dwindled to 9%.  She claimed victory that night, but instead of graciously conceding in the next few days, she just went on.  And on.  And on.

It would be funny–it’s already fodder for the late night comics—if it weren’t so damaging to the party.  We’ve left our Democratic nominee to fight on two fronts—one of them from inside the party—when the party should have his back.

But you, oh Superdelegate, can stop the insanity.  Wait, you say?  Is he electable?  Let’s compare the two.

  • Senator Obama comes with baggage.  Senator Clinton comes with baggage.
  • He’s young.  Shouldn’t be a problem since the Republican candidate is perceived as too old and is showing signs of inattention.  She’s a nice in-between age, but with little experience of her own.
  • He’s African-American.  Yep.  And there are still racists in this country who will not vote for someone based solely on race.  She’s female.  And there are still sexists in this country who don’t think a woman can be president.
  • He has uncomfortable associations, such as the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers.  She has . . . a long, very long, list.  The ink wouldn’t have been dry on her nomination papers before the where-are-they-now stories about Gennifer, Paula, and Monica would have shown up.  Then there was Whitewater Gate, Travel Gate, friends in prison, who-knows-what-else Gate, rude behavior, sniper fire, NAFTA.  Why didn’t these come up much during the primaries?  Who was going to bring them up?  Not the media who want her to keep running.  It fills their air time.  Not the Republicans who want to see her nominated, as the easier candidate to beat.  And not Senator Obama because that’s not the kind of campaign he is running.

So, Supers, this is your moment.  As the song says . . .

“I face the pain/I rise and fall/Yet through it all/This much remains

“I want one moment in time/When I’m more than I thought I could be/When all of my dreams are a heartbeat away/And the answers are all up to me/Give me one moment in time/
When I’m racing with destiny . . . “

Not later.  Now.  Right.  Now.  Before the polls close tomorrow.  Or at least before the sun rises on Wednesday.  Man-up or put on your big girl panties, whichever suits, and get ‘er done.  This is your moment in time.

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Hillary, honey

Hillary, honey, the magic number in Pennsylvania was still is 20.  Actually it was more like 30, but there was a good-spirited willingness to give you a bit of a pass.  Now your magic number in every other primary is 40.  That is, you need to beat Obama 70%-30%.  In.  Every.  Single.  One.  It ain’t gonna happen.

Your surrogate-in-chief said that you needed to “win big” in both Ohio and Texas to stay in the race.  You won big in Ohio and decided to soldier on.  That’s okay.  I wasn’t one of those who were calling on you to suspend your campaign.  You had a big lead, 25-30 points, in Pennsylvania.  As you told the PA voters, you are almost a hometown girl.  You’re a senator in a neighboring state.  It’s an old, uneducated population—your kind of voters.  Bill was already there doing your advance work.  It wasn’t realistic to ask you to quit then.

Then the Obama campaign rolled into Pennsylvania and your lead got smaller and smaller as it has in every state.  No matter how you talk it or spin it or whirl it.  Sure, you won the primary Tuesday night—not by 25 points or 20 points or even double digits, by about 9%.  But you lost the nomination that night.

This is really tough on the mainstream media who so want your campaign to continue.  When you acknowledge that Senator Obama has won, what on earth will they talk about?  Issues?  Gawd, no!  Plus they love the bloody stuff.

It’s even tougher on the Repubs who desperately need you to be the Democratic nominee.  It’s the only chance they have to energize their constituents for Grumpy McCain, a candidate they don’t like very much:  run against a candidate they hate.  Repubs declared you the Democratic nominee almost four years ago  and with Gingrich-like persistancy made you the front-runner even before you declared.  They dream of running against you.

And it has to be the very toughest on you personally.  Your candidacy may have started as a Republican joke (or a vast right-wing conspiracy?); but when the primary season got under way, you had a double-digit national lead.  You had name recognition, a spouse who was still loved by many Democrats, a national infrastructure and fund-raising machine, money coming in, “experience” as First Lady.  Sure you had unheard of negatives for a presidential candidate.  But there was no electable Republican candidate on the horizon, and Little Bush was in a death spiral.  To paraphrase Kinky Friedman, “How hard can this be?”

Then this upstart junior senator, wet behind the ears, comes along and steals the game.  It was supposed to be your turn.  How could you know that a once-in-a-generation leader would show up uninvited to your party?  You have every right to be sad.  To be angry.  Maybe—dare I say it—even bitter? 

But it’s over.  You have no end game for winning the nomination that won’t destroy the Democratic Party.  You can’t catch up in the popular vote.  (No, sweetheart, you can’t count Florida and Michigan.)  You can’t catch up in pledged delegates.  You can’t catch up in states won.  You just can’t catch up.  Period.  You have no legitimate electablity argument.  You’re behind by 20% in national Democratic polls.  You aren’t trusted by a majority of Democrats.  You’ve had a nice fundraising bump these past few days, but even then you haven’t raised enough to pay the bills.  Your campaign is still broke.

So what’s it to be?  Leave with dignity, on an up note, and be part of forging a new Democratic party with the heritage and values of the old party and the fresh sounds of new voices and new ideas?

Or will you insist on slashing and burning and Roving—destroying a great moment for your party—until the party elders gather together and drag you to the sidelines kicking and screaming?  What a waste that would be.