Clinton: Taking It to the Convention

Cross-posted at DailyKos.

The rumors of the demise of Clinton's Florida-Michigan demands for 100% seating have been greatly exaggerated.

Earlier, the Clinton campaign said, on a conference call, that Florida and Michigan did, indeed break the rules. This spread across the Internet (including the Great Orange Satan) like wildfire. Obama supporters began a premature celebration believing that Clinton conceded the sanctions.

Well, not so fast. The fact that Clinton understands rules were broken does not mean she thinks the rule breakers should be punished. In fact, the Clinton campaign also published a letter today that reiterates their argument that 100% of the delegates should be seated.

There's more...

The value of Alegre's vote

Here on MyDD I've read innumerable diaries about the meaning of the popular vote (or lack thereof), and there has been a lot of discussion about the value of the caucuses to the democratic nomination process (or the lack thereof).

Sadly, the discussions seem to play themselves out in the same way over and over again.  Clinton supporters talk about 'counting the votes', and Obama supporters point out that the Democratic nomination process is a race for delegates, not votes.  Occasionally someone comes in and claims that Obama won in caucus states because he cheated somehow.  If not, it is at least claimed that the caucus process has disenfranchised somebody's brother, sister, or grandparents and is not democratic or representative.

In defense of caususes, it has been stated on numerous occasions that while primaries are good measures of the breadth of a candidate's support, caucuses measure the depth of a candidate's support.  But this never fully crystalized with me until I thought about the value of MyDD's own Alegre to the Clinton campaign.  The passion, committment, and dedication that Alegre brings to the campaign of her candidate is the perfect example of why some states use caucuses.  Having an Alegre on your team is probably worth a hundred of almost anybody else.

Put simply, Alegre's vote for the democratic nominee should count for more than mine. And if I understand correctly, she lives in Washington where they had a caucus, so her vote did count for more than mine.

No, this is not snark.
And no, I am not calling out Alegre.

(more below the fold...)

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Argus Leader Endorses Hillary

Congratulations, Hillary!

South Dakota's largest newspaper, the Argus Leader, went on record today in support of Hillary Rodham Clinton for President.

Editorial: Clinton is top candidate for Dems

Excerpts from the endorsement:

(Clinton's) resilience and determination never should be questioned. She has met or overcome every challenge or roadblock in her way, and there have been many. Her determination to carry the nomination process through to its real conclusion has perhaps earned her a grudging respect from those who would never support her.

Obama is justifiably credited as a powerful speaker, but Clinton holds her own easily. As those who have attended her South Dakota rallies can attest, she is quick on her feet and energetic. She frames her ideas clearly in speeches and answers questions with genuine directness.

Clinton is the strongest Democratic candidate for South Dakota.

Her mastery of complex policy detail is broad and deep, and her experience as a senator and former first lady matches that.

Clinton's energy policy is forward thinking and wise. She advocates a broad federal research initiative to help solve our looming oil crisis. It's a plan that would join university researchers, private industry and individual inventors behind a common goal...Is ethanol part of the answer? Clinton believes it is but not necessarily corn ethanol...That is not precisely the answer South Dakota wants to hear. Corn-based ethanol has been a boon for farmers here. But the simple fact is that she probably is correct...

Clinton has demonstrated a real commitment to Native American issues and will have visited several South Dakota reservations before the race is over. Clinton is precisely correct when she says that people outside the region have a poor understanding of the troubling trends on our reservations...

Her truly universal health care plan would be welcomed by thousands of South Dakotans. Even on reservations, where health care is nominally universal already, such a plan would be welcome. The federal government would never be allowed to subject everyday Americans to the kind of care Native Americans living on reservations routinely receive.

(emphasis added)

The endorsement is especially gratifying to Clinton supporters given the extreme overreaction to a reference she made to RFK in the Argus Leader interview -- an incident which was shamefully exploited by Barack Obama's campaign.

And, the Argus Leader endorsement is gratifying in light of furious efforts by party elites to end the nomination process before the convention, even though neither candidate will have enough pledged delegates by then.

Thank you, Argus Leader, for confirming what 18 million people already know:  Hillary Clinton is the best Democrat to be President!

Cross posted at TexasDarlin

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An Alternative Way to Count Delegates

There's been a lot of hubbub about how the caucus system is unfair to Hillary, and how it favored the Birkenstock-driving, Prius-sipping, latte-wearing baby trust funds (or something like that) who tend to support Barack Obama.

But Hillary's actually lucky. We could've allocated every delegate for each state proportionately based on the number of popular votes each candidate got in that state.

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The Caucuses

With yesterday's Idaho primary, won by Barack Obama, we now have four states which have conducted both a primary and a caucus in this election season - Washington, Texas, Nebraska and Idaho.  In all four cases, more people participated in the primary than in the caucus.  Also in each case, Hillary Clinton performed better and Barack Obama worse in the primary than in the caucus.  What is amazing is how regular the trend is:

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The figure above plots Hillary's (blue) and Obama's (red) perfomance in the primary in each of those four states (y-axis) vs. their performance in the caucus in each of those four states (x-axis).  A linear fit for each of Hillary's and Obama's data is generated (whose equation is given), each of which have a very high R-squared value, indicating a clear correlation.

(NB - The labels for TX and ID are reversed for Hillary's results)

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