Just saw this interesting post at Barack Oblogger. It’s a simple post, but it makes the point effectively. Despite the past week’s scuttlebutt over Hillary Clinton and “white, working class voters,” Barack Obama has won nominating contests in eight of the nation’s 15 whitest states (I’m trusting it’s quantified by a percentage of the overall population, the definition of whiteness or nonwhiteness — always somewhat frought — seems somewhat hard to actually hang a number upon). Results aren’t in yet for Montana (which votes June 3) or Kentucky, which votes tomorrow (along with Oregon). I think the vote in Kentucky will be much closer than it was in West Virginia but still lean toward’s Hillary, but Obama has run away with the vote in mountainous, western states (and might I say, Republican bastions), so he’ll sew it up in Montana. I also predict he’ll blow Hillary out of the water in Oregon (also tomorrow), not in this list of 15 but still far from a bastion of diversity (not to mention a place where working class ideals have incredible mileage).
Not having been there for almost four years I still feel I can speak from experience that Maine, which tops the whiteness chart (and how!) is undoubtedly Obama country, and Mainers are so wicked far from elitist that it alone shatters the “working class” myth Hillary’s campaign touts.
Alright, alright, yes, I am probably blogger No. 234,807,097,921 to link to this video today. But come on. How can you not resist The Empire Strikes Barack.
This debate of superdelelegates vs. the voting public is only going to become more interesting as the primary campaign lengthens. For the time being, I am actually encouraged that there is such a competitive Democratic primary. The sheer volume of interest in this election cycle is fascinating, and I feel fortunate that we live in a time when the general public seems genuinely motivated to affect significant change in our society. It doesn’t seem to be waning as the months continue, and it looks ever-more possible that every state will be relevant in the presidential nominating process (at least on the Democratic side).
Some might argue that the lengthening of the nominating process threatens the eventual nominee, and the possibility of a brokered convention could hurt the Democratic candidate’s chances. But I believe it does something different. It captures the fascination of an entire new generation of politicos and keeps the focus on Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, as well as the tremendous energy their campaigns represent.
I agree, for the most part, with this reflection by Rahm Emanuel’s brother on the completely undemocratic nature of superdelegates. However, I depart from his position that the delegates from Florida and Michigan should not be seated. While I believe that Barack Obama offers much more of a possibility for a fresh approach to the presidency, and Obama’s campaign has the most to benefit from not seating the delegates, it was wrong in the first place to penalize Florida and Michigan for deciding to increase the relevance of their primaries. Furthermore, it was wrong for the Democratic Party and the various campaigns that decided not to campaign in those states to continue to enshrine the exaggerated prominence of Iowa and New Hampshire, as well as Nevada and South Carolina, in the nominating process. Florida and Michigan are far more diverse states more representative of this nation than any of the early voting states. More importantly, though, this whole debacle re-inforces the fact that this country is in urgent need of instant run-off voting or, at least to begin with, one national primary day.
Yes, some might argue that seating the delegates would unfairly benefit the Clinton campaign because Obama (and other Democratic candidates) did not campaign in Florida or Michigan, but holding fresh elections in the summer would unfairly benefit whichever candidate has the most momentum at the time. Meanwhile, calling on one hand for the party to dismantle a tradition as anchored in the political status-quo as superdelegates, while on the other hand demanding that the status quo convention of the primacy of early-voting states makes no sense.
Finally, for just one more take on the superdelegate situation, Alternet has another interesting take.