Loc: Syracuse, NY
A wonderful telling article about the ul...evisited."<br><br>DEMOCRATS SEEM INTENT on nominating Barack Obama, in the face of mounting evidence that Hillary Rodham Clinton would be the stronger candidate against John McCain in November. And they only have themselves to blame.<br><br>Yes, the Clinton camp made strategic blunders that allowed Obama to score heavily in Republican states where few Democrats vote. But the real culprit is the party's stupid, self-destructive nominating system, which has two major flaws.<br><br>First, it was designed to anoint a nominee by early February, far too early in the process. The result: Obama built up an insurmountable lead at a time when he was still largely unblemished, untested and unscrutinized. The past six weeks have brought tougher media coverage, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's tapes, the candidate's ill-considered comments about "bitter" voters and a wave of second thoughts among key groups like union members and white Catholics.<br><br>Second, the nominating system was completely incapable of reflecting these shifts. Not only were few states remaining on the calendar, the rules of proportional representation made it almost impossible for Clinton to catch up.<br><br>Since Feb. 19, seven states have voted. Clinton has won four — Pennsylvania, Texas, Ohio and Rhode Island — building up a popular-vote margin of 483,000. Yet her total gain in delegates was exactly five. In Texas, she won by more than 100,000 votes, but because of that<br>Advertisement<br>state's ridiculous rules, she actually came out five delegates behind.<br><br>How can that outcome possibly be fair? How can it possibly benefit the party?<br><br>Wait, it gets worse. Obama built up sizable margins in small states that Clinton was foolish enough to concede. His delegate advantage in Idaho, Kansas and Louisiana — three states that will never vote Democratic — was a total of 38. By contrast, Clinton handily won three large swing states — Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Ohio. And yet, because of party rules, her combined marginal gain amounted to 28 delegates.<br><br>Wait, it gets worse. Obama built up sizable margins in small states that Clinton was foolish enough to concede. His delegate advantage in Idaho, Kansas and Louisiana — three states that will never vote Democratic — was a total of 38. By contrast, Clinton handily won three large swing states — Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Ohio. And yet, because of party rules, her combined marginal gain amounted to 28 delegates.<br><br>How can it make sense for Idaho, Kansas and Louisiana to have a bigger impact on choosing the Democratic nominee than Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Ohio? Add in the exclusion of Florida and Michigan, two crucial states that favor Clinton, and there's only one word for the Democrats' system: crazy. And Republicans are gleeful.<br><br>Three months ago, they were convinced that Clinton was the easier candidate to beat, and she's hardly an ideal choice, not when more than half of all voters tell ABC pollsters they don't like or trust her. But many GOP insiders now see her as a tougher, more tenacious rival, and the latest polls support that judgment.<br><br>The Associated Press-Ipsos survey gives Clinton a 50 percent to 41 percent edge over McCain, while Obama ties his Republican rival. As GOP pollster Steve Lombardo told the AP: "This just reinforces the sentiment that a lot of Republican strategists are having right now — that Clinton might actually be the more formidable fall candidate for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that Obama can't seem to get his footing back."<br><br>One of those strategists, Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, added that Obama "is by any definition very liberal, to the left of Clinton, in a center-right country. That is very, very helpful to us." Already Republican candidates in North Carolina and Louisiana are running ads linking Democrats to Obama and his "very liberal" policies. And that's only the first trickle in a tidal wave to come.<br><br>Obama can make some strong counterarguments. While Clinton might be the better candidate in traditional swing battlegrounds, he can "expand the map" by bringing in new voters, mainly young people and blacks, and making the Democrats competitive in red states like Colorado and Virginia.<br><br>The election map, however, has been starkly static during the Bush years, with only three small states switching sides between 2000 and 2004. Winning Ohio with Clinton is a safer bet for Democrats than capturing Colorado and Virginia with Obama.<br><br>So why don't Democratic leaders and superdelegates face these facts and shift to Clinton? One reason is race. It's true, as Obama says, that being black in America has hardly been a political asset, given the fact that he's the only African-American in the U.S. Senate.<br><br>But at this time, in this party, being black is an enormous asset. Given America's long, torturous path toward racial justice, many Democrats simply cannot imagine denying the nomination to the first serious African-American candidate for president.<br><br>From a moral perspective, that's a noble judgment. From a political perspective, it could cost Democrats the White House. <br><br>
Obama puts a lot of non-traditionally democrat states into play (e.g., North Carolina from yesterday). but Cokie Roberts is making a flawed argument. she's trying to point out why Obama is slipping by without recognizing that Hillary is THE name in democrat politics and that she had the party infrastructure in place and she had the friends and was the presumptive nominee and she can't run a campaign and she's loaning millions to her campaign and she had a flawed campaign strategy and fired her manager, etc. AND she found a way to lose to some freshman senator. wow. and Cokie thinks Hillary would be the stronger candidate? puhlease!!!<br><br>and then there's "Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" McCain who has problems exciting his own party, let alone the rest of America. he's a weak candidate who doesn't understand economics (and he's said as much). he doesn't know the difference between Shia and Sunni . . . and he's just really old, which will be accentuated in a debate standing next to Obama.<br><br>whatever Cokie. sell your opinion all you want . . . obviously mojo will buy it up. <br><br><br>--<br>[color:red] Kansas Jayhawks -- 2008 National Champions </font color=red>
Loc: Hampstead, MD, USA
<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>he doesn't know the difference between Shia and Sunni . . . and he's just really old, which will be accentuated in a debate standing next to Obama.<p><hr></blockquote><p>In addition the minimum age requirement for president, there should also be a MAXIMUM age restriction. Namely, 55. If you're older than 55 don't bother applying. Actually I think 55 is too old, I'd like presidents to not be any older than mid '40s. <br><br>You old farts here can bitch about my stereotype all you want, but old people are stubborn and incapable of the flexibility a younger candidate would offer.<br><br>Well if McCain wins at least we can probably look forward to a good bloody revolution, and lots of future jobs rebuilding burned down DC. Because I don't think people are going to stand for more of the same old same old, and as you mention McCain is old in spades.<br><br><br>Hey I'm an F'n Jerk!®
Hey I'm an F'n Jerk!® twitter.com/SgtBaxter facebook.com/Bryan.Eckert
If I were a scientist, I would say that their study of the events does not have an adequate control.<br><br>It's idiotic to try to assume that the general election will be the same as the primary contest and I don't know why so many political commentators are sticking to this trope except for the very simple reason that they need some kind of drama to stoke up. What they aren't pointing out is the obvious. Sen. Obama built up a campaign doing exactly what he needed to do in order to get the nomination. He did it against an entrenched top-down style campaign in an environment that favored a quick conclusion by whatever candidate out of the nine could get the early nod. Obama earned his right to stay with Iowa and built up organizations from scratch in all of the states he needed.<br><br>Let's take a step back for a second and consider one simple question... has anything happened so far that was not expected? Has anything happened so far that would be disappointing for the Obama campaign?<br><br>No and no. Obama cut into Sen. Clinton's leads where she was strong and held where he was strong.<br><br>Now taking on Sen. Clinton's strengths and assigning them to Sen. Obama's general election opponent is totally stupid. Why is anyone assuming that Sen. McCain will enjoy the same popularity... because people hate Sen. Obama? That's nonsense.<br><br>But at the end of the essay and at the end of all this bloviating is a return to race. Why not?<br><br>-- Cee Bee Double-U
"In addition the minimum age requirement for president, there should also be a MAXIMUM age restriction. Namely, 55. If you're older than 55 don't bother applying. Actually I think 55 is too old, I'd like presidents to not be any older than mid '40s.<br><br>You old farts here can bitch about my stereotype all you want, but old people are stubborn and incapable of the flexibility a younger candidate would offer."<br><br>LOL - That sounds like a very inflexible policy and a rather stubborn mindset. I would submit that such attributes are more a function of individual personality traits and not necessarily a result of age. The quality and policies of candidates are far more of a concern to me than their age. After all, there are many fine examples of extremely capable older people who would be fine candidates for president, they just have better sense than to apply for the job.<br><br>Chris (somewhat stubborn, yet still fairly flexible semi-old fart) <br><br><br><a href="http://www.light-imagery.com/index.html"target="_blank"></a><br><br>
<br><br>... and in that respect, where was the author wrong?<br><br>The current system has two serious flaws: it is a) front-loaded and thus incapable of adjusting to changes along the way, and b) the choice of election methods itself may be democratically arrived at, but it forces an apple-orange comparison.<br><br>Both have their (dis)advantages. The caucus system, because the participants have to "out themselves", may allow a great deal of populist influence, while the secret ballot may allow some strongly held yet PC incorrect or unpopular biases to exist. <br>Which represents a fairer means of voting is open to debate... but states having either/or makes no sense, because any claim about, for instance, public vote, become meaningless, because they were arrived at differently.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
"Humor ist, wenn man trotzdem lacht" (Humour means laughing despite of it)
Loc: Alexandria, VA
Well, every system is flawed in some way -- there doesn't exist a "perfect" system of counting votes. The Republicans have a system similar to the general election: winner-takes-all, which on the national level (and state level in the case of primaries) completely disenfranchises the voters on the losing side -- their votes are converted to ones for the candidate for whom they didn't vote. The flaws of a proportional vote - at least in the primaries - you have already highlighted. A combination of methods also doesn't seem to be totally equitable ...<br><br>So what system would be better?<br><br>As the adage goes (paraphrasing): The system we have is the worst -- except for all the others.<br><br>Turn up the signal, wipe out the noise ...
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