The Williams Sisters are Jehovah's Witlesses; they abstain from politics. There was an article a few weeks about about their reaction to the campaign; they say they're happy to see Obama nominated, but they're not going to vote for him because voting is against their religion.
I think it's more the fact that it's one of the reddest of red states that makes it second-tier -- I recall Mark Russell once commenting on "The great state of Alaska, where the Republicans are real Republicans, and so are the Democrats." Senator Stevens is long, long overdue for retirement, though; he's getting into Strom Thurmond territory. (So are Byrd and Lautenberg on our side of the aisle, of course, and the latter is running for reelection this year.) Here's hoping his reelection campaign will go down the (series of) tubes.... ;-)
True, and that could be important for Obama after a narrow victory over Hillary Clinton. It's a damned shame we didn't manage to elect Betty Castor or Inez Tenenbaum to the Senate in 2004, actually -- a female southern senator would be an excellent choice for Obama's running mate.
If the Repug were anyone but McCain, Napolitano would put Arizona in play. Not against McCain. And I'm skeptical that Kansas can be put in play no matter who's on the ticket; Kerry-Edwards never had a chance in North Carolina, after all.
Definitely not Chuck Hagel, but how about Chuck Robb? Why take a sitting senator like Webb out of the Senate and risk possibly losing his seat in a special election, when you can get similar experience from the same state in a retired senator? Who just happens to have chaired the Iraq Intelligence Commission -- good background experience for the job of eviscerating McCain on the subject of his greatest perceived strength, his supposed leadership on foreign policy and national security?
You simply cannot tell people that their votes will not count, prohibit the candidates from campaigning there, count the fraction who showed up anyway, and then validate those totals.
That sentence would be more true if you'd ended it after the second clause. In a democracy, you simply cannot tell people in parts of the country that their votes will not count, and prohibit the candidates from campaigning there, period, regardless of what you do afterward. That's wrong whether you then count the votes or not.
The issue we have now is how to redress the wrong that's already been committed. I hold that it would be less wrong to seat those delegates than not to, because despite being told that their votes would not count by people who had no right to tell them so, the voters did go out and vote, and their votes SHOULD count; by not counting them, our party forfeits any claim to being the defender of voting rights. Obama will probably have the lead in pledged delegate anyway; according to the front page of this blog, he currently enjoys a nine-delegate lead even with MI and FL counted, and that's not including the MI uncommitted delegates, many of whom will surely gravitate to him.
Unless Hillary wins a blowout in PA, reduces Obama's lead in NC to something approaching parity, AND takes over 85% of the vote in Puerto Rico to win ALL of its 56 pledged delegates, Obama will arrive at the convention with a lead in pledged delegates EVEN if the MI and FL delegations are seated as-is and given full voting rights.
If that's not good enough for the Obama supporters, let's agree, as the original diarist suggested, that Michigan's "uncommitted" votes were really "anybody but Hillary," that Obama is not Hillary, and seat that many of Michigan's Obama-pledged delegates instead of actual uncommitted delegates who might vote for Hillary in defiance of the intent of the voters who checked "uncommitted." With those delegates added to the mix, Hillary probably can't win a pledged-delegate lead even if she does win big in PA, even up NC, AND take all of PR's delegates (see Slate's delegate calculator if you don't believe me).
When you sign a statement agreeing that the results of an election are not going to be valid, you undermine democracy. When you decide to reverse your position and support democracy because you realize that the anti-democratic rules you agreed to are going to cause you to lose, you are doing the right thing for a selfish reason; it's still the right thing, and your selfishness does not detract from its rightness. Hillary, Obama, the other primary candidates, and the DNC were absolutely wrong to make an "agreement" that disenfranchised the voters of Florida and Michigan; the voters were not party to that agreement, and must not be bound by it. Who the outcome favors is irrelevant, because it's not about the candidates, it's about the voters.
3) So then I guess back in January (or before) when Hillary and the Clinton camp said MI and FL (like so many other states) don't matter they were on the wrong side of the argument for FL, MI and the party?
So if they were wrong then what makes them right noW?
The fact that they've switched their position from the one that was, is, and always will be wrong to the one that was, is, and always will be right. The wrongness of disenfranchising voters in a democracy is not determined by who it helps, who it hurts, who supports it, who opposes it, or whether their motivations are altruistic or selfish; it's wrong, period.