Saturday :: Jan 19, 2008

Postscript on Nevada

by eriposte

1. Turnout for Democrats: Just amazingly huge. Sen. Harry Reid was right. Makes me feel good regardless of who the eventual nominee turns out to be.

2. Winner: Sen. Clinton - congratulations go to her and her campaign. Women continue to be a huge support base for her, which is promising. As for Sen. Edwards, he definitely lost some votes because of the undemocratic nature of the caucus system but I hope he realizes that his campaign strategy over the past few months has been poor. Rather than focus more of his attention on Sen. Obama - who has been running most to the Right of the three - he has been trying to tie himself to Sen. Obama and against Sen. Clinton. That's fine, but in my humble opinion, this is highly misguided. After all, as Markos admitted today - there's something obvious that I've been pointing out since at least December:

Who is running with the most progressive rhetoric? Edwards, first. Then Clinton. And then Obama, who is still trying to be a palatable general election candidate rather than close the deal in the primary. So riddle me this -- in a Democratic primary, where will many Edwards supporters go? Don't assume it'll be Obama if they're looking for the strongest Democratic voice in the race.

Obama's path to the nomination at this point runs through Democratic voters. And ultimately, while my absentee ballot will be mailed out Monday with his name checked off, I'm pessimistic that he can win. He has shown no proclivity for speaking in unambiguous progressive tones, and it could cost him the election.

3. The Nomination: Anyone who thinks this race is over is on a different planet. Sen. Obama still has a 50-50 chance of winning the nomination, as does Sen. Clinton. We have a long tough race ahead and I just hope things don't get nastier. I've said this a million times by now, but I will support the eventual nominee, but please don't make the race nastier. As for supporters --- fact-based and issue-based criticisms are fair game. Let's just not get into vicious personal attacks. I should add one comment. The UNITE-HERE ad against Sen. Clinton (run in Nevada on behalf of the Culinary Workers Union that endorsed Sen. Obama) was the most vicious and malicious ad I've seen in this election from an allegedly progressive organization and I hope the names of the people who approved it come out so that we know who those lowlifes are.

4. The Media: I know its always bad news for the Clintons whatever they do - so, predictably CNN has a report out saying how it is bad news that African-Americans chose not to vote for Clinton (in Michigan and Nevada) but overwhelmingly voted for the most charismatic African-American nominee the Democratic party has had. I'm just glad there aren't news reports lamenting how it is deeply troubling for Sen. Obama that he did not win the majority White or Hispanic vote or whatever. This kind of race-based crap - the worst kind of identity politics - disturbs me to no end and I hope all voters see this crap for what it really is - dividing Democrats and progressives ahead of the most important national Presidential election in modern American history. Also read Dave Johnson's post "Driving a Wedge" at Seeing The Forest (emphasis mine):

Here is a glimpse of the right's operation at work, trying to drive wedges between Democrats. A Drudge Report headline links to Murdoch's Times Online: Women turn on ‘traitor’ Oprah Winfrey for backing Barack Obama

What is the basis for this headline story? Anonymous messages left in blog comments:


Don't fall for it. Stick together.

On to South Carolina, where Sen. Obama has a strong lead and is the favored candidate to win. Let's see how that shapes up in the next few days.

Update (by Soto @ 4:10 PM Pacific): Sorry to poach Eriposte's work here, but I wanted to weigh in on some of the media crap I've already seen today, some of which Eriposte has already mentioned. I was treated to the observations of Newsweek's Howare Fineman on MSNBC's coverage a half-hour ago, wherein this seasoned and allegedly neutral national political reporter told viewers that Hillary's six-point win over Obama portends a possible rupturing of the Democratic Party. Really? Would Fineman have also laid such an apocalyptic outcome at the feet of Obama if he had won a six-point victory over Clinton, or does the media automatically assume that Obama has magical powers to heal all wounds that Clinton does not?

Andrea Mitchell on the same broadcast said that in reality Obama won a major victory today, fully swallowing the Obama campaign spin because his campaign showed organizational strength by winning ONE MORE DELEGATE than Clinton did today, 13-12, a figure that the AP and the state party question. So even though Clinton beat the earlier expectations by many of the same media folks that Obama would ride the wave of their hype and the union endorsements to a victory in the state, and even though she bagged 600 more caucus votes than he did, the media says that Obama won in a big way nonetheless because he allegedly got ONE MORE DELEGATE than she did. None of these wise media people on MSNBC have emphasized the really big stories that both Turkana and Eriposte have: the Democrats had a huge turnout, and John Edwards' effort collapsed in the state. And of course, none of them are saying anything about the fact that despite the UNITE endorsement, Hillary still beat Obama in a caucus state.

We are being asked to believe by many of these experienced national political "experts" that the Democrats will have problems in November if women and Hispanics unite behind Hillary and she is the nominee, accepting their flawed calculus that therefore African Americans will somehow be disappointed so much by Obama not getting the nomination that they would sit home in November and not vote for a Clinton. Oh please, make this rank stupidity stop! Again, the overlooked story in all of this is that Democratic turnout is very high.

And yet all the media wants to spin is that a Clinton nomination will split the party and that African Americans will stay home at the disappointment of Obama not getting the top spot (as if Clinton would never think of offering him the second spot). They have so swallowed the "Barack as Unifier" theme, created in large part by themselves, that any other outcome is immediately billed as cataclysmic for the party.

Update #2 (Soto @ 4:53 PM Pacific): Andrea Mitchell is still at it. She calls the Nevada outcome, based on their exit polls showing African Americans going for Barack in a big way while women and "Latinos" going for Hillary, as a "historic divide" within the party, and "not something that any Democrat would want to see." That's right - it's nothing but doom and gloom from Mrs. Alan Greenspan at the sight that women and Hispanics go for Hillary while African Americans go for Obama.

And it begs a huge question: Why is the media so alarmed that the Democratic Party is bringing out so many voters who aren't white males?

eriposte :: 4:01 PM :: Comments (6) :: Digg It!