Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Denver in August: Panicked Democrats turn to Lord Palpatine

David Freddoso at NRO does Delegate math for Dummies

This is the outcome Democrats dread most, the one likely to cause hard
feelings more than any fair-and-square election victory ever could. The
salvation of the Democratic system has previously been the propensity for
voters to unite around a winner early ... This time, the Democratic race has
come down to just two candidates, either of whom could win. It is going into
the late states, no matter what. It is an undemocratic game in which the
voters are mathematically incapable of picking the winner without the help
of unelected party elders.

He has a lot of company in this opinion. This looks to be the first party convention since 1976 (Ford and Reagan) in which the nominee has not been sure thing before the delegates gathered.

I've thought for the last six months that Hillary Clinton would not be nominated. I'm still not sure she will be, but I think the Democrats, at the wire, will pull back from nominating a two- year Senator from Illinois. There are too many flashpoints inthe world right now. Before August, one or more will ignite, and foreign policy or terror or both will be more on voters minds than the economy.

Senator Obama would make an exciting peacetime presidential candidate. In a time of war, the Democrats will want someone more experienced.

But it still may not be Hillary.

Hillary and Barack fight all the way to the convention. It gets nasty. After the first ballot, with neither a winner, the convention lights go out as spotlights illumine the podium. The curtains behind the podium part and Al Gore descends a staircase, a halo above his head, his Nobel in one hand, his Oscar in the other. The crowd goes wild, drowning out Bill Clinton's cries of anguish. Hillary rushes the stage but is restrained by the Secret Service. Gore and his Veep Obama are nominated by acclamation.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

More voter suppression in Bush's America

Throughout Virginia on Super Tuesday, voters showed up at their usual polling places only to find them closed, Fox News reports.
By noon, the State Board of Elections had received about 400 calls, many of them
from callers asking why their polling places were closed.

Virginia's primary is next Tuesday ,February 12.
A half dozen people also showed up at a Milwaukee polling place on Super Tuesday to vote. Wisconson doesn't have a primary today either.

Thoughts on Super Tuesday and beyond

McCain could put Romney away today. Romney can slow McCain's momentum, but it will take more than a Romney victory in California. Is the groundswell of anti McCain sentiment enough?
On the Democrat side, a draw in popular votes and delegates today - even a narrow win for Hillary- counts as a victory for Obama, no matter how much the Clintons spin it. Obama has the momentum. Watch for the the gloves to come off in the Clinton campaign. This one really may go to a convention floor fight, and some great television.

Down the road, who do the nominees pick as veeps? If the Clintons go nuclear to stop Obama, Hillary- Obama is unlikely. If Obama wins, to maintain the change mantra he needs to turn to someone else; the same 40 some odd percent of Americans who don't want a Clinton back in the White House, don't want them in the Vice President's home either.
VP's have been chosen for geographic balance (Kerry- Edwards, Kennedy- Johnson) and for party unity (Reagan- Bush). It seems George W. Bush chose Cheney because he liked him and thought they would work well together. (Why did George H.W. Bush pick Dan Quayle?) Bold moves are usually seen as desperate pandering: think Reagan - Schweiker or Mondale- Ferraro.

If McCain or Romney go up against Obama or Clinton, it's arguable that they need to pick a woman, or an African American, as VP. Yet the potential candidates look either politically untenable (Condi Rice, Colin Powell) or are Quayle/ Ferraro political nobodies (J.C Watts, Michael Steel, Alan Keyes.) And would a Michael Steele do the ticket any good?

For both McCain and Obama, the VP choice is critical. If McCain is nominated, his age ensures we'll see stories this fall about President Reagan's Alzheimers. For Obama it is his first major appointment. He needs some foreign policy gravitas to complement all the change. The Democrats have won twice since 1964: Carter, (post- Nixon), Clinton, (post Cold War). Are voters ready to trust the Democrats again in a dangerous world?

The Republicans have one advantage: they go last. If there is a fight at the Democrats' shindig in Denver, the GOP may be able to take advantage of it.
McCain- Giuliani
Obama- Richardson.
But six months is a long, long time.