MAGNANIMITY must the word of the day

Folks, please be respectful and magnanimous. Celebrate, but don't forget that we have won nothing yet. The real and only big prize is November 4th and that is the day of real celebration. And remember, there will not victory in November without the help and the votes of those who supported Hillary so far and there are more than 17 million of them.

Celebrate, but be respectful, show class, and be magnanimous.

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Just Relax

This is a quick and short diary. I just would like to say to everyone here to just relax a little bit and stop swaying left and right and in this direction and the other with every statement and news flash.

This has been a 14-month process. We, Obama and Clinton supporters, have all been waiting for an end to this process. It seems that the end is near and we just need to show a bit of patience. People are still voting in South Dakota and Montana. The polls are open and will be open for 4 or 5 hours. Let us all wait until they close and both candidates make their statement and we all will have our answer.

I recognize that, for some of you, this has been your first rodeo and the excitement of ending this campaign is barely bearable for you folks. But believe me (as someone who has been involved in two presidential campaigns in the 1980s) when i say that this is only the beginning, the very beginning of a very rocking, head-turning, breathtaking, and eye-dazzling ride. Punches and counter-punches are going to be flying at such a speed that you won't be able to keep up. So, my advice to you folks is to relax a bit. This has always been a marathon, not a sprint, and you need all your energy in the next 5 months to finish strong.

One more word before i wrap up this short diary: Whatever happens to night be magnanimous and respectful, and keep your emotions in check. We will not be able to win in November if we act and behave like a bunch of assholes and remember that this election has been extremely close and no candidate KOed the other. This has been a victory by points and the scorecards look awfully close, which means that there will be no victory in the fall if one half pisses off the other.

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Fake outrage and republican-like behavior

Today Senator Clinton made a statement in relations to previous primaries. She said that other campaigns in the past went well into the month of June and she gave examples such as the 1992 and the 1968 campaign. She said that RFK was still campaigning in June and his campaign was still going when he was assassinated.

Our supporters went online and screamed bloody murder. Some of our supporters started running like chickens without heads, yelling and screaming that Senator Clinton is staying in the campaign because Senator Obama might be assassinated, which would allow her to get the nomination.

In a nutshell, our supporters are saying that Senator Clinton wants and wishes Senator Obama to be assassinated (check the posts and comments here and on other blogs).

Let me say this in the most direct way possible and as straight as i can: this is the most dishonest faked outrage i have seen since i got involved in politics in mid-1980s. It is just plain disgusting that we behaved like that. We ought to be ashamed of ourselves. We brought nothing but shame to the campaign of Senator Obama today.

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My thoughts on Yesterday's Defeat

I think Senator Obama's problem with working class folks is real. He is just not connecting with them. He needs to put more meat on his message and he needs to talk to them more and relate to them. His message, heavy on post-materialism, works just fine with those that do not worry about their job security or have enough education and resources to analyze the validity and reliability of his message. However, with those who are struggling economically on a daily basis, that message has so far failed. Working class folks don't have the luxury or the time or the energy to engage in high-minded analysis of his message because they are just too busy trying to make ends meet.

I don't want to downplay the race factor. I believe it has some impact; however, i do not think that it is mostly because of it that he cannot connect with working class folks (supporters of Hillary Clinton can also argue that people are not voting for her because he is a woman and because of sexism). If we engage in that kind of blame and reasoning, and we begin labeling everyone who votes against Senator Obama as a racist, well we are doomed. I believe that a candidate has to go before the American people and make his case and present his ideas and beliefs and convince them. The candidate has to sweat, shout, lose his/her voice, and fight for those votes. That shows respect i believe and in return the American people will grant you the benefit of the doubt. I also believe that the majority of Americans are decent people who are ready to listen and more importantly are ready to be convinced.

I also think that his connection problem with working class folks exists beyond the Appalachian region. In Missouri for example, Senator Obama lost every rural county. He won 5 counties out of 115. If Missouri is the bellwether state of American politics as they say, well that is not a good indicator. In Tennessee, he won only 9 counties (mostly urban centers in the middle and western part of the state) out of 95 counties. In Texas, he won 24 counties (mostly urban centers) out of 254 counties. In California, he won 18 counties out of 58. In Florida (i am aware that this state does count but i am using it just to show the trend), he won 8 counties and almost all of them were in the panhandle region of the state, which will go republican anyway in the fall).  In Massachusetts, hardly an Appalachian state, he won 5 out of 15 counties--if you break these results by towns, it looks even worse since Massachusetts has about 300 towns and the Senator won about 90 or barely 1/3 of the towns. In Pennsylvania, he won 7 counties out of about 55--if you include townships and boroughs as they do in PA, the picture gets even worse. And yesterday, he lost every single county. So he lost the rural vote in the Appalachian states as well as in other states.

The trend here indicates that wherever he lost a state, he lost it because he failed to be competitive in rural counties and outside the urban centers even in states that he won like Missouri. This trend started before Rev. Wright and i think it got worse because of him and other unfortunate statements. My dad spent all his life in electoral politics. He managed campaigns (senatorial ones) and worked in presidential ones. He did that since he returned from the Korean War and until he retired in early 1990s (he died recently of Alzheimer). He always said that no one should really pay attention to presidential polls until the month of June/July or Labor Day. However, he also said that everyone should pay attention to the county-by-county voting data broken down by gender, ethnicity, income and education level. If there is a voting trend in some counties in a given state and that trend repeats itself in another state and then another, you can bet that it is a national one. I myself did work (stats analysis mostly) in a presidential/senatorial campaign before i moved to the private sector and i think he was right on the money. I see a trend here that keeps repeating itself. I don't have enough data or the time to analyze or assess whether this trend is getting stronger over time, but i feel like it is. I really hope that i am wrong on this one. However, if this trend is not corrected, it could solidify and become very hard to reverse, or it would cost a lot of money, resources and time (which we don't have)to correct it.

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The gas tax debate: How much do i save if we suspend the gas tax in my state?

Whether we are for or against the gas tax, we can all agree that we have to argue about this topic in the most honest way. It is an interesting and timely debate. Both democratic candidates have serious and strong long term energy policies, but the debate seems to be focused, here and everywhere, on the short term energy savings or the famous suspension of the gas tax. Most candidates advocate the suspension of the federal gas tax, but i think the suspension of the state gas tax might yield better results.

So, when i hear the claims that the suspension of the gas tax would save the average family 30 bucks over 3 months, i got a little curious and picked up my little calculator to see how much really the suspension of the gas tax in my state would save my family.

I AM SUSPENDING THE STATE GA TAX, NOT THE FEDERAL:

I live in a state that has two kinds of gas taxes. A constant excise tax of 9.5 cents per gallon + a sales tax of 7% per gallon, which rises or falls based on the price being charged at the pump.

My wife and I have two cars with a 15 gallon-tank each. We usually fill up each car once per week. So over a month we have about 8 or 9 fill ups for both cars.

So, let us do the math and see if we really saving $30 bucks or less or more if we suspend the state gas tax rather than the federal gas tax.

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Questions that need to be asked?

Well, it seems that Senator Clinton pulled the victory that she needed to pull. The margin is close to 10 points and it is enough for her to keep on going and to even, i predict, energize her fund raising (i just heard on CNN that she raised about $2.5 million on her website, this still has to be confirmed).

As i wrote a couple of days ago, what does this victory of Senator Clinton mean? Or what does this defeat of Senator Obama mean?

There are several questions that need to be asked calmly and answered in the most honest and objective way.

This is the primary objective of this short diary. I would like to generate an honest and open debate and conversation between concerned and responsible democrats and progressives. Please, for the love of god, refrain from insults and negative comments as they do not serve us well in achieving our ultimate objection, winning the White House.

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What does it mean if Senator Obama loses by 10 points or more tomorrow?

The winner of tomorrow's primary in Pennsylvania will be determined by the margin. As James Carville would say, "It's the margin stupid." If Senator Obama (disclaimer: I am a supporter of Senator Obama) loses by less than 5 points, he could make the case that Senator Clinton has no chance whatsoever to catch up to him (in terms of pledged delegates and/or popular vote), and that all the recent controversies, from Rev. Wright to his alleged association with William Ayers, have not had a lasting impact on his candidacy.

However, if Senator Clinton wins by 10 points or more, not only she would live to fight another day, but there would be serious concerns among several democrats, myself included, about the ability of Senator Obama to win in the fall.

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United Ticket Is The Way To Go (Please rec this diary)

Let me first say that I am a supporter of Senator Obama. I voted for him and I will in November if he wins the primaries. However, I will also vote for Senator Clinton if she clinches the nomination and I will do so happily.

However, these primaries have been closer than most of us have expected. The difference between the two candidates is small: about a hundred pledged delegates, a few dozen of super-delegates and a little more than two or three hundred-thousand in popular vote. To me, no candidate has won clearly, categorically, and overwhelmingly to claim that he or she has a popular mandate from the base of the Democratic Party (polls don't mean a thing when you have clear results from the primaries).

Both candidates have weaknesses and strengths and the weaknesses of one are complemented by the strengths of the other. Each candidate by him/herself will have a hard time winning in the general elections. Thus, a combined ticket of both candidates--the order does not matter to me right now--is the way to go. Bear with me for a second and let me explain my rational. If you care about winning the White House like I do and your bottom line is victory, you will agree with me. However, if you care more about some childish skirmishes that took place during this campaign and your feelings got hurt and bruised by what one candidate said/did or did not say/do, you have no business being, following and/or participating in electoral politics. The bottom line to me--and must be to every democrat out there--is to see a Democratic President sworn in January 2009. The rest is news junk and fodder for stupid talking-heads to fill the 24-hours cable news cycle of nonsense to distract us from our ultimate objective.

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Mea Culpa of an Obama supporter


Let me get something out of the way so there will be no confusion. I have been a supporter of Senator Obama since his speech in 2004 at the Democratic Convention. I wished and hoped that he would run and he did, and I jumped wholeheartedly on the bandwagon. I organized fund-raising parties for him, organized phone call parties, canvassed for him, worked the phones and I even cut my Christmas vacation short with my 2 beautiful kids to be in Iowa for the final push.

I am not a young college kid anymore and I have worked in electoral campaign before. I am not also naïve or a novice about politics or politicians, and I am well aware that campaigns are cutthroat organizations. However, I have to admit that this campaign has excited me more than the past ones. The early rhetoric of Senator Obama indicated that he might be, could be different; that he would present a break from the past. Finally, I said to myself, a politician that is so fresh that as a country we could start a new page together. However, for the last month or so, there have been things, actions and statements, from the campaign and from Senator Obama, which made me very uncomfortable to the degree of being ashamed.

I have never thought about Senator Clinton as this evil politician that my fellow Obama supporters have depicted her to be. It is fair to say that the harshness that some of Obama supporters, aided in one way or another by the complicit and bizarre silence of Senator Obama campaign, has been short of despicable and republican-like.

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