In it to win it

I can tell you why Hillary Clinton supporters are sick of Obama mania, because I am one of them.

After month upon month of bashing this woman, who owes it to her supporters to win the Democratic nomination, two new mantras – accompanied by a constant drumbeat from the media and Obama supporters - have emerged:

· Hillary needs to get out of the race.
· Hillary is destroying the Democratic Party.

To put it nicely, that is esoteric bullshit.

If you don’t want facts to get in your way, you are on the wrong blog. The following post will take about 10 minutes of your time, but you might come away better informed.

FACT: The Rasmussen poll released 26 March 2008 (LINK) found that 66 percent of registered Democratic voters want both candidates to stay in the race for the nomination. The poll shows there’s equal dislike on either side of the Democratic race for the rival candidate: 22 percent of both Clinton and Obama supporters said they believe the other candidate should drop out of the race.

FACT: In calling for either candidate to drop out of the race, there is an assumption that the other can defeat John McCain in November – despite unknown developments over the next eight months.

FACT: To win the Democratic Party nomination, a candidate must have won 2,025 pledged delegates. It is mathematically impossible for EITHER Clinton or Obama to achieve this number.

FACT: In the event the required number is not achieved, the rules of the Party, established in 1984, state that the “superdelegates” – a media term - will intervene.

FACT: The superdelegate rule was created to strengthen the role of party leaders and elected officials and to cover the possibility of the unforeseen - something going terribly wrong with a Party frontrunner in the lead-up to the convention. In the nick of time, the major contenders in the 1984 primary were Gary Hart and Walter Mondale. Each won some primaries and caucuses. Mondale was only slightly ahead of Hart in the total number of votes cast, but won the support of almost all superdelegates and became the nominee after Hart’s “Monkey Business.”

(What the rules say: The Democratic Party rules do not use the term "superdelegate." The term refers to unpledged delegates, who fall into two categories: 1) delegates seated based on other positions they hold, who are described in Rule 9.A as "unpledged party leader and elected official delegates" (PLEOs); and 2) additional unpledged delegates selected by each state party, in a fixed, predetermined number, who are described in Rule 9.B as "unpledged add-on delegates" and who need not hold any party or elected position before their selection as delegates. Unpledged PLEO delegates should not be confused with pledged PLEOs. Under Rule 9.C, the pledged PLEO slots are allocated to candidates based on the results of the primaries and caucuses. While the number of pledged PLEOs is fixed and predetermined, the number of the unpledged PLEOs is not set. Pledged PLEOs generally support their state’s primary or caucus winner, but they are not required to do so.)

FACT: You can’t change the rules in the middle of the game.

FACT: In light of the mathematics, a call for either candidate to drop out at this point is just a bit of silliness. After all, the official race against John McCain is not going to begin until the Democratic National Convention in August. So much for the hue and cry that it must begin NOW.

FACT: While the Republicans have accomplished the deification of former President Ronald Reagan, Obama supporters, to my chagrin, have joined the right-wing and the media in marginalizing Bill Clinton. Progressive and liberal blogs which support Obama are exhibiting the blue-dress syndrome and denying the many accomplishments of the Clinton administration.

FACT: Throughout his administration Clinton’s job approval rating was, on average, higher than Reagan’s, and he left office with a 66 percent approval rating. So, why the circular firing squad?

FACT: Despite media mockery, Hillary Clinton’s “vast right-wing conspiracy” was real, and it still exists. It will go after either candidate in the general election. For full, documented accounts of such a “conspiracy,” I highly recommend David Brock’s book “Blinded by the Right” and “A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton” by Carl Berstein. All Democrats will be better prepared for the general election campaign having read these two books.

FACT: If we play by the rules of the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the nomination are as good as Barack Obama’s.


From “The Race for the White House with David Gregory,” MSNBC, 26 March 2008 (TRANSCRIPT):

DAVID GREGORY, host: Finally tonight, the Clinton camp is hammering home the message inside their war room that she is still in it to win it, laying out their case in a press release listing a series of myths and facts.

Among the myths … the delegate math works decisively against Hillary. But they claim the fact is that the delegate math reflects an extremely close race that either candidate can win. They went further to say, “The math is actually very simple: with hundreds of delegates still uncommitted, neither candidate has reached the number of delegates required to secure the nomination, and either candidate can reach the required number in the coming weeks and months. That is indisputable.”

Rachel, what is also indisputable is that she would really have to change the dynamic in this campaign and win something on the order of 70 percent of the rest of the delegates. That is hard math.

RACHEL MADDOW, “Air America” host: The real - realistic way to put this is that NEITHER candidate can win with the remaining state-based contests. Neither candidate can win without the superdelegates. The question for Democrats is not whether or not they want the superdelegates to decide this; the superdelegates are going to decide this, as gross as that may seem to a lot of Democratic voters. And so, therefore, we should stop worrying about the ethics of that. We‘re faced with that now. And, the real question on the people, when should the superdelegates decide? Do we wait until Denver, or do we force them to do some sort of superdelegate primary sometime more soon like in June, which has been proposed by the governor of Tennessee?

GREGORY: But, Richard, is there anything beyond rhetoric here in saying, no, there really is a path to victory here that‘s real, that is actual arithmetic?

RICHARD WOLFFE, “Newsweek” senior White House correspondent: No, it‘s rhetoric. It‘s the department of voodoo math. Look, the pledged delegates are the way we assess the will of the people in these races. There are all sorts of caucus states that we still don‘t know where the popular vote is. So, we can argue out percentages of this or that or the other. He has a 150-odd lead in pledged delegates, that‘s 10 percent more than Hillary Clinton has. It‘s a significant measure.

JOE SCARBOROUGH, host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe:” We? You said that’s how we decide it? If that‘s the way we decided it—if that‘s the way the Democratic Party decided it, then they wouldn‘t have superdelegates. That‘s the thing.

Let me tell you what we love to do. We in the media love to tell everybody - which we have been telling everybody for months - that the numbers don‘t add up for Hillary Clinton ,,,

WOLFFE: So, Joe …

SCARBOROUGH: … She can‘t get enough delegates by Denver. Well, guess what: the numbers don‘t add up for Barack Obama, but we don‘t tell that side of the story, do we?

WOLFFE: No, we don‘t. That happens to be the rules of the Democratic Party, Joe.

SCARBOROUGH: The superdelegates are the rules of the Democratic Party.

WOLFFE: And, the pledged delegates.

SCARBOROUGH: And, they can go any way they want.

WOLFFE: The pledged delegates are how people assess the votes of the people, the voters, what else is there?

SCARBOROUGH: There are superdelegates. And, if the superdelegates decide between now and Denver, which I hate to remind people but, my God, that is months and months away, that Barack Obama cannot win because of things that happened after Pennsylvania, in May, June, July, that is a lifetime. Harold McMillan said a week in politics is a lifetime. We‘ve got months and months and months. –END-

All you Democrats in either camp who fall into the “22 percent” and are stuck in Abraham Maslow’s “instant gratification” stage of development, go fix yourself a cup of instant coffee.

We have two great candidates. Let’s let this primary process play out – as it always has in the past.

“Saddle up!” (CORRECTION: The cited Rasmussen poll showed 56 percent of Democrats surveyed think both candidates should stay in the race. The error is mine. Fighting for truth can be very tiring these days.)


Faye Schmelig said...

YES! YES! YES! I agree 100%! Thank you for putting my thoughts into words and for this list of facts. I depend on your research, your knowledge, and your opinions since I can't get the truth on the so-called "news." Love your blog! Never miss a post!

Jan said...

BJ, as usual, a well researched and concise litany of reporting. A Joe Friday, "Just the facts, ma'am. Just the facts." This makes 'moot' the "esoteric bullshit."

But as the old axiom goes, "Lawyers (and MSM tongues) love to hear their own voice." That's why they can rattle off so much bullshit while foaming at the mouth. In Jan's estimation, veterinarians are needed to administer distemper injections.

al moore said...

Today Sen. Leahy called for Hillary to drop out. He said there is no way she can get the delegate votes. Now, we know the rest of the story. Thanks, B.J.

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