Tell Russert; No nominee before the vote!

We should explain to Russert and Matthews and George and Wolf and Keith and Gloria and David and Alex and Suzanne and Paul and Rachel and Sean and Bill and George and Candy and Tom and Brian and Shepherd and Contessa and Lawrence and Nora and John and Chuck and Ben and Roland and Donna and all of the rest of the people on TV who will be teaching America over the next three days what's happening and what it means! They need to be hearing how we feel about their dismissal of our votes and their misrepresentations about our process (some from Donna Brazile, Howard Dean and Paul Begalia.)  We need to change their ridiculous, stale and uninformed talking heads' talking points.  They reach  some of the voters we need to win. Don't let them turn those voters off with this misinformation campaign. (Their chatter was so out of date last week that nobody even seem to notice the startling data in the exit polls; they just dismissed West Virginians as insignificant, old, undereducated, poor  as though they were dismissable to Democrats and as though that was who the data said were voting! Embarrassing for them and important for the party not to associate with or condone that behavior.

The RULZ of nominations are that as long as there are two or more candidates, the nominee is declared after the official convention vote of the people elligible.

To win, the candidate needs one half, plus one,votes of the delegates credentialled and seated at the convention, cast by secret ballot, reported in live outcry by the state delegation, counted, recorded and confirmed by the Secretary of the Party in the presence of the entire convention delegation. THEN the magic number of majority is applied and the convention knows its' nominee.  If no one reaches the majority, the vote is called on the Second Ballot, and on till somebody reaches the majority vote, counted and confirmed. THEN we have a nominee.

The only person who can declare himself the nominee before then is presumptuous, at the very least.         And it certainly cannot be done by the media, even if the media person is as presumptuous as Tim Russett.

 We do not even know yet how many delegates will be credentialled to sit at the convention, pledged, super or otherwise.

And nobody even agrees on the number of delegates assumed to go for one candidate or the other. Different news services have different counts. The credentialing proces can last til August. Delegates won in Nevada by Clinton have been pushed out by Obama supporters at the state convention. Some delegates elected months ago now have buyers's remorse.(Considering what the election looked like four month ago, one can assume it could look a lot diffenert four months from now.)

There are serious unresloved issues of improper voting in several of the caucues so that delegates may be challenged in the credentials committee and some other issues challenged in the rules and Bylaws Committee.  And the results of the committee decisions can be appealed all the way to the floor of the convention for a convention vote.

So we will not know the number of votes needed by the nominee until August.  Any party leader who goes on TV and fails to correct press assumptions about the nomination does the party a disservice.  Any media person who pretends that this part of the RULZ is not a standard reality in rules for nominations in many organizations is misleading their viewers.

We should be spending the summer as a party working on trying to sort out all of the challenges, holding re votes or voter verifcation actions in questionable areas and trying to find justice in the ways we resolve them, no matter which candidate the resolutions favor. When the process can't be fixed, we need to adjust through committee on the side of fairness and justice.

 If the members and the voters see the party making a real honest effort to fix the things so  obviously unfair,  some of the damage done by the gross mishandling of the party leaders can be overcome before the election. Only then will the convention look to the country like something named after democracy.

We need to address the  talking heads and the people covering Senator Obama's Tuesday night announcement and claim, however he states them, so that they will not misrepresent his claim or its' validity or half of the primary voters will be outraged and the rank and file Democratic general election voters who have yet to name their choice will likely want nothing to do with us in the fall.
Thanks to some poor choices by the Obama people and the press, it is looking to more and more voters like Obama is not winning legitimately and like something is being stollen from Clinton.

If he is such a shoo in, why risk alienating so many voters by this boorish, bulling behavior. Where's the unifyier, the mathematical cinch, the most electible with the new coalition  governed by the new politics?

If he does this, he will have to ring less true to the lofty rhetoric, more arrogantly imperial and truely self-centered elitist with more and more of the people. If the Obama people are not concerned with how these choices portray Senator Obama, especially after the horrendous defeat in West Virginia and the Edwards upstaging fiasco, then the rest of us need to get concerned about why the Obama campaign needs to take such risks and has no room to behave in an admirable manner, more in keeping with the campaign rhetoric, the image they want to project of their candidate and their cause.

And why won't the Obama campaign  act in a less self-agrandizing, more legitimate way, less damaging to the party and our chances  to win the White House?  What is so frightening, so urgently looming that you can't behave more appropriately and more in character with a person who wants to be our Democrat in the White House...and wants the votes of all of the people it would take for you to get there.  This is unseemly and disturbing. It is costing the party in ways we can't measure until it is too late.

We need to contact all of the talking heads we can think of to try to set them straight about the real nomination process and our views of the coverage and quality of information.  And we need to contact Senator Obama's people and encourage them to think better of staging this ill-advised power grab Tuesday.

 Go ahead and campaign enthusiastically, but don't misbehave and hurt the party and our general election chances with these antics. Support a healthy contest that looks democratic.

A lot of us are very interested in a very strong down ticket in the Congress and state houses and issue votes.  We need to attract a strong turnout of enthusiastic support. We don't get that by employing behaviors that look to the voters like bullying, injustice and elitism.

Tags: Candy, Chuck Todd, credential, Delegate Count, Donna Brazile., Gloria, Hillary, John King, Matthews, Media, nominee, obama, Russert, Sean, talking head, West Virginia (all tags)



Re: Tell Russert; No nominee before the vote!

Mike Gravel.  To the convention we go!

by Pat Flatley 2008-05-17 05:33PM | 0 recs
Contact for timmeh

Meet the Press contact page

MSNBC shows you can email directly
morningjoe has a special contact box on the page is the central contact page.  You pick the show and paste in your comment to each show of interest.  Particularly the Situation Room and 360  and Larry King are usually the ones to comment on the primaries as the news
of the votes comes in.

Anybody with other addresses add on.

by itsadryheat 2008-05-17 08:01PM | 0 recs
anybody have email for Gloria Borger or any

of the other pundits we could reach individually?

by itsadryheat 2008-05-17 08:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Tell Russert; No nominee before the vote!

Somebody missed the memo.

Obama: 'Be Nice to Clinton Supporters.' /2008/05/18/obama_be_nice_to_clinton_sup po.html


P.S.  It won't work.

by adrienne4dean 2008-05-18 01:51PM | 0 recs

We don't get that by employing behaviors that look to the voters like bullying, injustice and elitism.

Sort of like trying to change the rules halfway through the contest, trying to count elections where only one candidate was on the ballot, or urging party elders to anoint the candidate with fewer delegates?

by Firewall 2008-05-17 05:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Tell Russert; No nominee before the vote!

Obama will have the lead in pledged delegates after Tuesday. It would be virtually impossible for him not to, since he's behind by around 17 now and there are  25 delegates allocated Tuesday.  

by politicsmatters 2008-05-17 05:37PM | 0 recs
Until the vote is counted in Denver it's surmise.

by itsadryheat 2008-05-19 01:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Tell Russert; No nominee before the vote!

If he is such a shoo in, why risk alienating so many voters by this boorish, bulling behavior.

I have no clue what you're talking about. Could you be more specific?

by politicsmatters 2008-05-17 05:38PM | 0 recs
Be Real - remember Indiana

Hillary declared herself the victor in Indiana, long before the results were conclusive.  

And no one with Terry Mac as their spokesperson can  toss the word boorish around.

by Al Rodgers 2008-05-17 05:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Be Real - remember Indiana

On April 8th of 1992 a full two months before he would secure enough delegates to claim the nomination Bill's staff was calling him the presumptive nominee:

[Apr 8, 1992] Clinton's showing yesterday convinced many Democrats that, even with the depth of concern about his character and his ability to win in November within his own party, his nomination is now all but assured. "Bill Clinton is the presumptive nominee," declared Mark Mellman

by venician 2008-05-17 05:59PM | 0 recs

the same way he declared victory in the 1992 NH primary, even though he came in 2nd by 8 points.

by Al Rodgers 2008-05-17 06:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Exactly

Its mathematically impossible for |Obama to reach the required delegate count, however.

With Bill, he had sucha  lead that it was a foregone conclusion.

Your analogy is a crock.

by switching sides 2008-05-17 07:50PM | 0 recs
"Obama's Fading Support..." McLaughlin

Russett said after NC and before IN, that he was declaring Obama the nominee and that it was over and indisputable.  That's what got him the title role here.

Lawrence O'Donnell said that Hillary's speechh that night was her concession speech but others just didn't know how to read between the lines.

Others wer carrying on about how Obama didn't campaign in WV when actually he had sent in double the ground forces Hillary had, spent well over twice as much blanketting the state with ads and opened twice as many campaign headquarters as Hillary.  And that got him 27%, even though he had been annointed for over over a week.

Gloria and others seemed to enjoy discounting the vote because they wer all women, old, conservative,uneducated and poor.  She didn't even read the CNN exit Polls afailable at CNN Election Central for every state.  The exits said that :

58% had college  and voted Hillary 61% - 30
14% had post graduate  - voted Hillary 55 -40
34% were liberal and voted Hillary 67% - 29
13% said very liberal and 72% picked Hillary
45% made over 50,000 and voted Hillary 61% -30
47% male voted Hillary 60% and Obama 30%

Is Clinton Honest? yes 64%  no  34%

Is Obama Honest?  yes 43%  no  55%

18% were Independents - Hillary 54 -32 Obama

Youth 17-29 years voted Hillary 59% - 35% Obama
Age 30-44 voted Hillary 66 - 24 Obama
Age 45-59 voted Hillary 67 - 24 Obama
Age 60 + voted Hillary 71 - 24 Obama

Hillary has been making inroads into Obama's core groups for several primaries, except the Black vote.  She was winning young people of all other races, for instance, and won all youth in California.  She has been getting more male, college, and higher income groups.  The overwhelming solidarity of the Black bloc skews the way the numbers in Obama's core groups in all of the other races.

Now there was some news in those figures. Didn't hear it from the "expert commentators" till John McLaughlin featured what he called "Obama's weakening support"  as shown in the WV primary and other exit polling lately.

by itsadryheat 2008-05-17 08:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Tell Russert; No nominee before the vote!

What you are asking is not how the process works, nor has it ever been.

People are annointed "the nominee" when it's clear the results of the process will end with them winning, whether the process is over or all parties have conceded or not.

The fact that this race was extremely close for awhile doesn't change that.

by KyleJRM 2008-05-17 06:27PM | 0 recs
So true
I'm in Oregon, and have been for the last 20 years. Through each and every primary, there was a presumptive nominee. While I was disappointed that I wasn't part of the "action" I certainly wasn't whining about it.

This is the first time that our votes actually "counted for anything" and will make a difference.

So, why is it all of a sudden not fair? This making up of new rules, or revisionist history, is really starting to get on my nerves.

by DemsRising 2008-05-17 06:36PM | 0 recs
Kennedy went to the floor behind 976 delegates!

Senator Kennedy ran against sitting President Jimmy Carter and took the fight to the convention for a floor vote.  He was behind Carter in the assumed count 976 delegates. How did he manage to take the vote to the convention?  Because it is the RULZ.  Read about elections in reference texts on how tro run organizations in a fair and just manner.  You'll find the same concepts abide.

As long as the other candidates don't condede. there is no nominee until the convention votes.  Check it out.

by itsadryheat 2008-05-17 07:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Tell Russert; No nominee before the vote!

clinton supporter!!!!!!!!!!!!

swarm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!

by canadian gal 2008-05-17 06:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Tell Russert; No nominee before the vote!

I really don't understand this new line of thinking, that paid experts are somehow being wildly offensive and unfair when they look at trends and have the audacity to say what they think is likely to happen in the future.


Or put another way, where has this moral outrage been each and every night of the primary, when the networks have had the audacity to project winners sooner than 2 days after the polls have closed and each vote is counted, recounted, and certified?

And don't even get me started on the slap in the face that candidates spending different amounts of time in different states represents, as if the campaigns could somehow determine ahead of time likely outcomes based on demographics, polling, and on the ground impressions and adjust strategy accordingly. The very idea is insulting, because as we can all see making educated guesses based on an intelligent weighing of all factors is just elitist doubletalk for spitting on the voters.


I respect the frustration Sen. Clinton's supporters must be feeling, but some lines of argument are untenable from word one. Providing an educated guess about the outcome of a situation once it has passed the point where it is anything other than vanishingly unlikely to change isn't somehow an attack, and acting as if it is doesn't actually help anyone.

by werehippy 2008-05-17 06:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Who are you kidding?

Yes....we should spend nearly three months vexing over rules, debating fairness of contests, rehashing MI and Fl, check credentials, make sure no delagtes are secretly neighbors with 60s radicals, everybody's minister is white, and work hard...REAL HARD... on losing.

Dukakis had two unfettered months and did nothing.  Kerry stood by for a month while right wing nuts trashed his military record.  Carter and Mondale forgot that the most important thing to do after a bitter primary battle is to unify the party.  

Reagan in 76, Kennedy in 80 and Hart in 84 all doomed their party's nominee by playing sabotage politics right up to the convention.  

Who did things right.  BILL CLINTON.  In 1992, he moves to satisy both wings of the Dem Party, he camapigned furiously and worked the media over to answer questions about his past.

by kmwray 2008-05-17 07:11PM | 0 recs
No nominee before the vote!
Every time I've heard Obama being interviewed in the past two weeks, every time, he has made it clear to the interviewer that he is not yet the nominee.
Implying that he has said anything otherwise is flat out dishonest.
by toyomama 2008-05-17 07:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Tell Russert; No nominee before the vote!

Funny how Republicans who voted for Huckabee and Paul are not criticizing the media for annointing McCain the nominee even though the convention hasn't been held yet.  

They are not complaining, because it is commonplace in both the democratic and republican party for the nominee to be designated before the convention.  

For example, John Kerry in 2004 was declared the democratic nominee before the convention, and Howard Dean supporters did not complain.  

Al Gore was declared the nominee before the convention in 2000 and the losers didn't complain.

Bill Clinton was declared the nominee before the convention in both 1992 and 1996, and none of the losing candidates complained that the media had jumped the gun.  

by ProfessorReo 2008-05-17 08:37PM | 0 recs
Kennedy went . He was behind 976 delegates

by itsadryheat 2008-05-19 01:11AM | 0 recs
I smell faux outrage..

Why do you care so much about what the talking heads say? Do they have some kind of official say on the whole process?

by Massadonious 2008-05-17 11:58PM | 0 recs
Only to superdelegates, unfortunately...

by itsadryheat 2008-05-19 01:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Tell Russert; No nominee before the vote!

We shall see what happens in Aug.  Everyone maybe very surprised. Nobody is the nominee till then.

by orion1 2008-05-18 04:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Tell Russert; No nominee before the vote!

Well said. Highly rec'ed.

by grlpatriot 2008-05-18 07:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Tell Russert; No nominee before the vote!

It's very bad form to announce you've won before the other side concedes.

If Obama announces he's won on May 20, Armageddon is where we're headin'.

by Nobama 2008-05-18 02:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Tell Russert; No nominee before the vote!
I agree with you!!! Obama hasnt won anything yet.
Hillary is still in the game- they are only separated by a few points of the total-
  russert needs to get a life, it sounds like he is trying to play god as well.
MelK in Austin, TX
by mk5112 TX 2008-05-18 05:44PM | 0 recs


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