Obama supporters: Chill! (UPDATE: PARTY!!!)
by Travis Stark, Thu May 29, 2008 at 05:44:06 AM EDT
This is a brief note to my fellow Obama supporters.
I've noted in the last day or so a rising tone of panic and dread in some of you. "Hillary's going to take it to the convention!" you exclaim. "She's going to cost us the general election!" you lament. This weeping and gnashing of teeth has been exacerbated by an increase in Republican trolling on this site in the last couple of days, with truth-free Obama hit pieces coming at a more rapid pace.
To these Obamaniacs I say, "Chill!"
I don't mean that in a negative sense. In fact, I'm really only passing on the attitude of the candidate. Don't worry so much. For heaven's sake, many of us believe Barack Obama can be the best President in our lifetimes. The least we can do is give him the ball at the end of the game and have faith he's going to score for us.
From the beginning, Barack Obama has managed this election masterfully. Yet some of us, his supporters, still tend to act as if our judgement is better. He has said for a long time that this would go until the last contest, and it will. He has expressed confidence that at the end of the contests he'll be the nominee. Trust him. You don't know what he knows. For all you know he could have Al Gore, Jimmy Carter, Nancy Pelosi, and another 50 superdelegates ready to endorse on Wednesday. Have some faith in the guy. If he's ready to be the President we know he can be, then he is more than capable of finishing this out.
On Saturday, the rules and by-laws committee will meet. Their lawyers have said they can't institute less than a 50% penalty on MI and FL, so I'd expect that to be the outcome. At that point, and I assume within hours, we'll know if that solution is accepted by the Clinton campaign. They may at that point do one of three things. They may accept the ruling, which would be the best case. The opposite case would be they announce that they don't accept the ruling and are taking their case to the convention. The in-between case is that they announce that they'll decide what to do after the last contest on Tuesday.
Saturday Puerto Rico will vote. Hillary will win there, but not by the huge margins once predicted I suspect. Then Tuesday it's on to South Dakota and Montana, and then, we're done. We'll have all the numbers. The supers will have all they need to come to a decision. The party leaders have said that they want the supers to commit shortly thereafter.
Some of us would like Sen. Clinton to concede on Tuesday, but it's not likely. She will probably mull things over for a day or two and then either pick a time and place later in the week, or decide she's not going to take a graceful exit and attempt a coup at the convention. Personally, I don't see Hillary Clinton as the anti-Christ of the Democratic Party. I think she realizes that there is no support in the party for a convention fight, that it would effectively end her political career to lose such a fight, that the odds of her winning said fight would be slim to none, and that she would then be blamed for any resulting loss in November. In terms of just practicality, I put the odds on Hillary not conceding shortly after Tuesday at less than 10%.
But what if Sen. Clinton chooses the nuclear option? What if she vows that, party be damned, she's going to take her fight to the convention floor? This is where you've got to trust in Barack Obama. He's known of this possibility for a very, very long time. I don't see him looking worried. I haven't even heard of anyone in his camp being worried. Give the team captain the ball and let him score.
The superdelegates in this race have not wanted, and rightfully so, to force Sen. Clinton out. At the same time there is no way they are going to give her the nomination, with Obama ahead in pledged delegates, without concrete evidence, not that he might not win in November, but that he simply cannot win in November. Absent that evidence the supers will coalesce around Obama in huge numbers. The general election campaign will begin, and Sen. Clinton, while she could make a little noise at the convention, would not have the votes to go anywhere.
So, fellow Obama supporters, chill out over the next few days. Cut the Hillary supporters more slack than usual. Don't let the Republican trolls draw you into debate. We'll watch Saturday's meeting with interest. We should let the Clinton supporters draw whatever they can out of Puerto Rico on Sunday. On Tuesday, I'm sure many of us will be up until all hours to find out the results out of Montana, but then it's over. There's not much we can do.
Well, there's not much, but if we really need to feel active there's something. Nothing says to the supers that the Obama juggernaut is unstoppable like continued financial success, so, if you're willing and able, we could all help by going to the Obama site and ponying up some more cash. It would be great if Barack could show a really good month of May to the supers while they're making their final decisions.
Have a cool few days Obamaniacs. Hope is in the air. Can you feel it?
UPDATE: It just feels so good to shuck off the stress and realize that it's all beyond our control at this point, at least for a few days. I call a PARTY! Everybody's welcome. We have lots of virtual refreshments and virtual entertainment. Supporters of all candidates are here. (I think there's a Gravel guy over in the corner talking to himself.) Leave your weapons with the hat check guy. Everybody must pass through the troll detector. It's such a nice day. Let's just put it all aside for a bit!