Fletcher: I think I'll go down to Mexico to try to find him.
Josey Wales: And then?
Fletcher: He's got the first move. I owe him that. I think I'll try to tell him the war is over. What do you say, Mr. Wilson?
Josey Wales: I reckon so. I guess we all died a little in that damn war.
Putting aside the ridiculousness of the Clinton campaign spin already skewered above, I've got to challenge Jerome's position on the correct way towards primary reform.
Jerome said: "And if they do have caucuses, they should have less delegates, so the delegate to vote ratio is more closer".
So, basically, Jerome's belief is that we should penalize states that choose to caucus (almost always a closed system open only to party members, predominantly activists) and reward states that have primaries (frequently open to all registered voters including Independents and Republicans). I've gotta challenge the calculus that goes into this.
Let us remember that caucuses are are run by the parties, not the state government - and those parties can not actually run primaries (cost and ability). A significant number of the states with caucuses have legislatures controlled by the GOP - which opens up the possibility of their "gaming" our nominating process. Do we REALLY want to force state parties to choose between allowing the GOP to control our process and losing delegates? Adopting this reactionary approach is the wrong step to take.
Ok, if I don't like Jerome's suggestion, what is mine? Here goes:
Nomination reform goes hand in hand with election reform in general. It has to come out at the Federal level with specific requirements for the states for all federal-level positions. They are:
Same day registration (or, at a minimum, registration up to 1 or 2 weeks before).
Closed or semi-closed primaries (party members or unaffiliated only, no crossovers)
Some formalized schedule that eliminates the race to be first and gives each region or grouping its own period - and a representative that goes first. That is, have a group of small or mid-sized states, either fixed by tradition or selected by agreement by the regional members before each cycle, to go in "Phase 1." Then have each region go as a group in a rotating sequence with each region spaced 2-3 weeks apart.
Off the top of my head, the regions could be:
North East (Massachusetts ,Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, New York) - ECV: 65 Pop: 33.6 million
Mid-Atlantic (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, District of Columbia, Delaware, Puerto Rico) - ECV: 70 Pop: 41.7 million
South Atlantic (North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida) - ECV: 65 Pop: 41.2 million
South (Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri) - ECV: 60 Pop: 31 million
Great Lakes (Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa) - ECV: 86 Pop: 49.3 million
South West (Texas, Oklahoma, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona) - ECV: 61 Pop: 38.3 million
North West (Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Kansas, Nebraska, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Alaska) - ECV: 72 Pop: 32.6 million
Pacific (California, Hawaii, Various U.S. territories in Pacific Ocean). - ECV: 59 Pop: 38.3 million
I've bolded a tentative list of the states that could be selected to be in Phase 1.
Phase 1 replicates the retail campaigning that is the positive of Iowa & New Hampshire but stretches it across a variety of regions. Phase 2 lets candidates who survived Phase 1 stay in until their favored regions get to go.
But the question is whether in fact "the true utility of a VP choice" is to balance or to reinforce?
Think about the last 3 Dem tickets:
1. Clinton-Gore (the "Double Bubba" tix) - reinforcing, not balancing.
2 . Gore-Lierberman - Balancing, not reinforcing (ok, I'm not even sure that was balancing but it certainly wasn't reinforcing)
3. Kerry - Edwards - balancing, not reinforcing.
Clinton will help with Democratic primary voters who are ardent Clinton supporters.
Clinton will cost with Democratic non-primary voters, Independents and moderate Republicans.
If we all agree with Clinton's statement that Obama's weakness is with less-educated whites, then there are better VP choices (Webb, Rendell, Strickland).
If we think it is someone with "experience", there are better choices (Richardson, Dodd, Biden).
The only clear advantage Clinton brings is the Clinton brand - and that is a double edge sword.
For me, there is one bottom-line reason that Hillary should not be the VP choice: Can anyone imagine Clinton (either of them) being able, let alone willing, to be a background operator? To deliberately stay out of the spotlight?
That post is about the most anti-progressive, low-road disgusting crap I've ever had the misfortune to read from someone participating in Democratic politics. It might make Atwater and Rove blush.
Frankly, I don't know your motivation, let alone the pathologies that make you "stand by it," but it sickens me. And your dishonest dodge that you are only "asking questions" is classic Atwater/Rove. It is the device racists, bigots and scoundrels have used for decades. Pathetic.
Over 300,000 people voted for Hillary in Michigan. Is it fair to "wave a magic wand" and imagine that there were votes cast in that state for Barack Obama? Or to pretend that no one voted for Hillary?
Is it fair to ignore than tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, that chose not to vote in the Democratic primary because they were told by everyone, including Hillary, that the vote wouldn't count?
Doesn't including the vote totals for MI and Florida disenfranchise these voters?
Seriously. If we cry voter fraud, accurately, when GOP henchmen make calls telling people that their vote won't count because they have a misdemeanor conviction, how is it not "voter fraud" to tell an entire state that their vote won't count and then, after they choose not to vote, go ahead and count the votes anyway?
Uh, no, he didn't. He made a case that for a certain percentage of the population, Obama will have problems. The same thing can be said about McCain and Clinton. Obama will likely be weaker than he could/should be in less educated areas. So what.
What is sad is that many Hillary-supporter's are so invested that their posts could be confused with over-the-top snark.
At the end of the process, and I fully expect and do not have a problem with it going until the last vote is counted on June 3rd, Hillary will be behind in everything. There is no reasonable calculation of popular vote that she can gain the lead in unless every contest from here on out goes to her by 30+ point margins.
I think I'll take the word of a neutral observer who was actually commenting at the time (in addition to EVERYONE else in Illinois, including republicans) that it was indeed Obama who negotiated, cajoled and worked to get passage, in the face of initial hostility.
The longest, most indepth post I wrote on this is lost in the archives of Political State Report, but I pretty much announced that after Ryan commuted all of the death sentences any chance for reform were dead because of the outrage that would follow.
I was wrong-very, very wrong and while other people like Tom Cross were positive forces for death penalty reform, Obama really put the reforms together and moved them forward. It was an amazing feat and one that really caught my attention as I observed it. I didn't think it was possible and everytime a snag was hit, I thought it proved I was right and that while I am against the death penalty, the commutations were counter productive.
Obama pulled it off pulling along important constituencies and working hard. I had always been impressed with him before then, but it is what really sold me on him by the time the 2004 Senate race picked up.
Compare that with the whining of a seemingly jealous former colleague as reported by a reporter who pretty clearly doesn't like Obama. And even then, his whining amounts to a complaint that he had sponsored the bill in prior years. There is no argument that it was Obama who actually led the negotiations and worked for passage.
Can you name ANYONE else who has challenged the account presented by Archpundit and others?