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democrattotheend's Journal - Archives
I've heard the media say both many times over the past few days, and I can't decide which one sounds sweeter!
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I posted this in response to highplainsdem's thread about the new GOP talking point that Obama/Biden is the first ticket in 68 years without a military veteran, but someone suggested I make it its own thread. Here are 2 great quotes from McCain himself on whether military service is a prerequisite for being president:

- "I believe that military service is the most honorable endeavor an American may undertake. But I’ve never believed that lack of military service disqualifies one from occupying positions of political leadership or as Commander and Chief. In America, the people are sovereign, and they decide who is and is not qualified to lead us."

He also said this in 2003:
- During an interview with National Journal, John McCain was asked if “military service inherently makes somebody better equipped to be commander-in-chief.” McCain said, “Absolutely not…I absolutely don’t believe that it’s necessary.”

http://thinkprogress.org/2008/07/01/mccain... /


Feel free to pass on/distribute.
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I didn't want to watch but my mom talked me into it. I knew that I would feel sad, and a little guilty, and I do. Does anyone else think she looked like she had been crying? When I saw her come on stage it looked like she had been crying. I knew she would tug at my heartstrings a little...I'm just glad she didn't get choked up, because I think I would have if she did.

I know it must not have been easy for her to say what she said about Obama and I give her credit for it. I do feel bad for her, and for all of the women who look up to her (and I used to be one of them) and feel like their dreams are coming to an end. I believe we will have a woman president in my lifetime, but I am sad that we may not see one in my great aunt's lifetime. I am proud that we are making history by nominating an African American for president, and I am more excited about Obama than I have ever been about a candidate. But I do feel bad for Hillary Clinton and her supporters, and even though I am an Obama supporter I feel like I might cry.

I can just imagine how hard this is for her supporters...if I had been a Clinton supporter I don't think I could have even watched. Four years ago I couldn't watch Dean's concession speech...I just didn't have the heart. For those of you who are still here at DU I want to express my condolences, and say that I understand what you're going through.

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Just curious who on both sides of the candidate divide is going to attend or protest the DNC rules and bylaws committee meeting this weekend? Let's try to keep this civil...I'm just curious how many other DUers will be there. So say whether you live in DC or are coming from out of town, whether you are attending the meeting or protesting, and who you support.

Obama supporters, if anyone is planning to protest, please note that the campaign has asked us not to protest. There will be some tickets to the meeting given away on Saturday morning, but if you don't get one, the directive from Chicago is to stand down and not create a scene that makes the party look hopelessly divided. DC for Obama has several voter registration drives going on in the area and people who don't get into the meeting are encouraged to do that instead.
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Okay, now that I have your attention, please help me by participating in this poll.

We were going over the methodology for a poll at work, and my boss said that pollsters sometimes start a political poll with a non-related question to get people's interest. One example he gave was "PC or Mac", and I thought that would actually be an interesting question to correlate with candidate preferences. I have a theory but I want to see if it's accurate. If you are a dual user (like me) vote for the operating system you prefer. So if you use a Mac at home and a PC at work and prefer Mac, vote for Mac, or vice versa.

Just a fun poll in the interest of having at least one thread that's about something other than Michigan and Florida. Although I encourage someone to say something outrageous so this will get more kicks. Or you can just kick it.

P.S. I don't really think we should kick Michigan out of the union. Florida I'm not so sure about...there was a parody "Blame Florida" that was done after the 2000 election, and it had a line that said "And if we had half a brain we would give it back to Spain." Given Florida's recent track record on messing up elections, I am not sure I entirely disagree with that idea. No offense to Floridians...my brother goes to school there and I have family down there.
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The Clintons have been very persistent in recent weeks about seating the delegates from Florida and Michigan. They have criticized the DNC for stripping these two states of their delegates, claiming that it would be an injustice to the state's voters if they are not represented. Given how strongly they seem to feel about seating delegates from states that break the rules, one would expect that they would have taken the same stance in 1996, when Delaware was stripped of its delegates for moving its primary too close to New Hampshire, right?

Wrong. In 1996, Delaware moved its primary to four days after New Hampshire, instead of a week later as required by party rules and New Hampshire state law. As a result, Delaware was sanctioned by the DNC (and I believe the RNC as well). Most of the Republican candidates that year also took their names off the ballot in deference to Iowa and New Hampshire. Here's the kicker: so did Bill Clinton. Even though he was not seriously challenged for renomination, he chose not to be on the ballot in Delaware, in deferrence to Iowa and New Hampshire and their right to go first. He also did nothing to complain about the DNC sanctioning Delaware. Interesting decision, given how strongly he feels about counting delegates from every state, even those that break the rules.
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Clinton has been claiming that she is ahead in the popular vote, a claim that is problematic if not outright misleading, because she is counting her votes from Michigan and counting 0 for Obama. Regardless of whether or not Obama was following the rules by taking his name off or just pandering to Iowa and New Hampshire (there is some debate about the meaning of the word "participate" in the pledge the candidates signed), the bottom line is, if you are concerned about giving the people of Michigan a voice in the process, it's kind of hard to argue that a result that gives Obama 0 votes is representative of the people of Michigan. I know at least 2 people in Michigan who wanted to vote for Obama, and they would not be represented if you gave him 0 votes. If Clinton is really committed to giving Michigan a voice, then she can't argue that giving Obama 0 votes is representative.

So I came up with a formula for allocating the popular vote. It's imperfect and probably underestimates Obama's support, since some of his supporters probably did not vote or voted in the Republican primary because he was not on the ballot. We should note that a poll taken when a revote looked possible showed them tied. But in the interest of figuring out some way to use the results from the Jan. 15 primary, here's what I came up with:

According to the exit polls, if all the candidates were on the ballot, Clinton would have gotten 46%, Obama would have gotten 35%, and Edwards would have gotten 12%. So I multiplied those percentages by the total vote #, and got 273,423 votes for Clinton and 208,039 for Obama. This nets Clinton 65,384 votes. The reason this vote total is lower than her actual total is because 18% of those who voted for Clinton said they would have voted for Obama if he had been on the ballot.

If you give the candidates these vote #'s, Obama still leads narrowly in the popular vote. He would lead by about 85,000 with Florida counted, and 180,000 with Florida counted and the estimates from the 4 caucus states included. It's possible that Clinton could pull ahead after Puerto Rico, but are we really going to argue that she should become the nominee because she took the lead in the popular vote after winning votes from people who aren't even US citizens and can't vote in November?

Yes, Michigan broke the rules, and Clinton said herself that it would not count. I am not saying whether it should or shouldn't. The point I am trying to make is that at a minimum, 238,000 people would have voted for Obama, and Clinton, the so-called champion of voter rights for Michigan, is disenfranchising those people when she claims a lead in the popular vote and gives Obama 0 votes from Michigan.
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A lot of people have criticized the caucus system, and there are some legitimate criticisms. While caucuses are open to all registered Democratic voters (and independents in some cases), it does require a larger time commitment and makes it difficult for those who are bedridden or overseas or has rigid work hours to participate.

However, it should be pointed out that despite complaints by Clinton and her supporters that people were barred from participating because they had to work on the weekends or at night, it should be pointed out that several caucus states have laws requiring employers to give time off, usually paid, for workers to vote if voting is not available outside of work hours. I would assume this also applies to participation in a caucus, since that is a form of voting.

For example, in Washington State, where Clinton complained about the three nurses who wanted to caucus for her but had to work, the law states that "Employers are required to arrange employee work time on the day of an election so that each employee has a reasonable amount of time available for voting if the employee would not otherwise have two hours free (not including meal or rest breaks) to vote while the polls are open."

Iowa, Alaska, Colorado, Nebraska, Hawaii, and Wyoming have similar laws. For a run-down of state-by-state laws, see http://www.nfib.com/object/IO_31227.html

Clinton's campaign could have done a better job of educating voters about their rights instead of simply complaining that caucuses were undemocratic.

I agree that there are issues with caucuses, though there are also advantages. I am sure there were some people on both sides who wanted to participate and were not able to, but a lot more people simply did not want to take the time. It requires a certain degree of interest in politics to be willing to spend the time caucusing, and I don't judge anyone who does not have that level of interest, but I don't think everyone who did not participate in a caucus was disenfranchised.

As Clinton herself said, Obama tended to attract more of the activist types, the people who were willing to sit through a caucus. And in the primaries, maybe those people should have a little bit more say, since many of them are the ones who spend time knocking on doors and making phone calls and stuffing envelopes for the party during election season.
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I said that we should stop worrying about Hillary Clinton and what she says and does, but her conference call with bloggers last night made me realize how wrong I was. I still think we should stop needlessly trashing her, but we also need to stay vigilant. I wrote in a new Kos diary about what I think her objectives are at this point: the stealth campaign for 2012. Please rec it there and here and help call attention to this.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/5/17/20...

I have a confession to make. I've gotten complacent. For the past week and a half, I have not made many phone calls, and I laughed off Obama's 41-point loss in West Virginia. I have been telling Obama supporters in the blogosphere to lay off of Clinton, figuring she was just staying in until Tuesday or until the end of the primaries and then would bow out gracefully. I did not think we needed to worry much about what she says or does anymore.

Last night, I got a wake-up call. I listened to the audio of her conference call with bloggers, which a DUer was kind enough to partially transcribe, and I realized that while she may bow out on June 4 and endorse Obama and encourage her supporters to vote for him, there's more to her strategy than meets the eye. I don't think she is planning to take this to the Convention, and she could be angling for the VP slot. But there's a far more troubling possibility here. From the sound of what she encouraged her bloggers to push last night, it sounds like she is trying to delegitimize him or cloud his legitimacy when he eventually clinches the nomination, as part of a stealth campaign for 2012.

democrattotheend's diary :: ::
On the call last night, she reiterated her claim that she is ahead in the popular vote, which is only true if you give her her votes from Michigan but give Obama 0 AND don't count the four caucus states that don't release vote totals. This would mean ignoring 4 states when she claims it would be a travesty to ignore 2. In addition, she encouraged bloggers to push the idea that caucuses are undemocratic, and she continues to talk about Michigan and Florida, both on the conference call and in her public appearances.

She said that if Michigan and Florida are not seated, "it will undermine the legitimacy of our nominee". She knows that Michigan and Florida will not put her ahead in the delegate count, and that the only chance of them helping her with the popular vote is if the will of Michigan voters is misconstrued by giving Obama no votes despite thousands of people there who wanted to vote for him. But by continuing to harp on Michigan and Florida, she can continue to, as she said, undermine the legitimacy of our nominee.

Her continued focus on Michigan and Florida, as well as her complaints about caucuses being undemocratic and her very dubious claim that she leads in the popular vote are troubling because they seem designed to create doubt that Obama has earned the nomination fair and square. She knows that if she tried to go to the convention, the superdelegates would come out for Obama to give him the majority, and she would look like a saboteur dragging it out in hopes that they change their mind. But by confusing the facts and casting doubt on his legitimacy, she can encourage resentment among her supporters that will persist even if she drops out after June 4 and endorses Obama. If they feel that she was pushed out illegitimately, at least some of her supporters may decide to sit it out or vote for McCain in hopes of giving her another chance in 2012.

In addition to creating questions about Obama's legitimacy as the nominee, she played the gender card yet again last night. She said that she "deeply regrets the vitriol and the mean-spiritedness and the terrible insults and rhetoric that has been thrown around at you for supporting me, at women in general, at many of those who support my campaign because of who they are and their stand based on principle." This is not the first time she has claimed that she is being treated differently because of her gender, and it appears to encourage women who feel she has been mistreated because she is a woman to keep feeling that way.

This, like the talking points designed to cloud Obama's legitimacy in terms of the math, could be part of a strategy to fan the flames of resentment among her supporters, particularly women. Yes, she may bow out gracefully after the primaries are over, but she wants to make sure her supporters are as disappointed and even angry when she does. She appears to want them to feel that she was wronged, making it harder for them to turn around and support Obama. She'll bow out eventually and give a speech that will probably tug at people's heartstrings and make them wistful, with some people perhaps hoping that she gets another chance in 4 years.

This may sound paranoid, but there are several factors that could exacerbate the temptation among her supporters to wait it out. McCain is 71 and may only serve 1 term, and unfortunately, many people still perceive him as moderate enough to tolerate for four years. The fact that the Democrats are likely to retain the majorities in Congress could make this worse, as people may feel more complacent about McCain being president because they think he'll be limited in what he can do by a Democratic Congress.

So if there really is a stealth campaign for 2012 going on already, what can we do about it? The answer is not to continue to spew hatred towards her here or anywhere else in the blogosphere, as we have unfortunately done too much of this season, helping to create this situation where many Clinton activists have hardened toward Obama. Please refrain from saying anything that could possibly be construed as sexist, as this will only exacerbate the problem. Instead, focus your energy on helping Obama run up the popular vote total, and stay vigilant. I have described a few steps for action below:

First, keep making calls to Kentucky and Oregon, especially Oregon. Clinton seems to be gaining in the polls there, and it's possible that Obama's supporters may be more complacent about returning their ballots because they think it's over. It's too late to mail the ballots and ensure that they will arrive in time, but the campaign is offering to pick up people's ballots and deliver them. We need to make phone calls to let people know that. It's important for Obama to run up as big of a popular vote margin there as possible to take away any claim she might have to it.

Second, we need to hold Clinton's feet to the fire. She will most likely do more town halls between now and June 4. She claims she is not afraid of tough questions, so people who live in Montana and South Dakota should go and ask her some. Don't go as Obama supporters...go as voters. Ask her why she claims it would be a travesty if Michigan and Florida were excluded but thinks it's okay to exclude the caucus results from Iowa, Maine, Nebraska and Washington in her popular vote count. Ask her why she praised caucuses and called them a "wonderful tradition" before Iowa, and now claims they are undemocratic. Most importantly, ask her if she plans to run in 2012 if she does not get the nomination this year, and whether she will rule out running against a sitting Democratic president. She will probably waffle and evade the question, but by at least asking the question, we can put it out there and hopefully get the media to question whether she is running for 2012 right now. If you see any news organizations planning to interview her and soliciting ideas for questions, post the question about 2012 on their blogs as well.

Finally, we need to write to news organizations and blogs and refute this baloney about her being ahead in the popular vote. If she creates the impression that she is ahead in the popular vote, no matter how selective and misleading her metrics are, it will really damage Obama's legitimacy, especially among Democrats who remain bitter about Florida 2000. And we can help to debunk her caucus argument by pointing out that she called them a "wonderful tradition" on her website, and now claims they are undemocratic. Point out that many of the caucus states have laws that require employers to give time off to vote if voting is not available outside of their work hours, and that her campaign failed to inform people that they had the right to this time off. Encourage news organizations to stop reporting her ridiculous spin about caucuses, the popular vote, and Michigan and Florida that are clearly designed to delegitimize Obama as the nominee.



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Maybe I just spend too much time reading blogs, but I am getting really nervous about all of the people who say they won't vote for Obama if he is the nominee. I hate to admit it but Wright has hurt him..he has lost some votes that are not coming back.

I'm also worried about the militant Clinton supporters who feel that she was wronged, that she's losing because she's a woman, that she was somehow cheated out of the nomination because of sexism or because the Democratic Party rules did not all work in her favor. I think it's BS and I don't see how they can claim Obama is illegitimate at this point, especially if at the end of the primaries he has more votes and more delegates even with Michigan and Florida, which is quite possible, especially if you give him the Michigan uncommitteds (and I don't see how you can argue that giving him 0 votes is reflective of the will of the people of Michigan). But some women seem to think that Hillary was passed over for what they perceive was a less-qualified man, and it angers them. The backlash against NARAL and the women in Ohio who are planning to campaign against Obama are making me really nervous about the ability to unite the party.

Maybe these people are just a small but loud group, but it's starting to scare me. Hopefully if Clinton eventually drops out and endorses Obama most of her supporters will come around, but that's not the sense I am getting.

I don't know if a joint ticket is even the right answer...a lot of Clinton's supporters don't want her to be Obama's VP, and a lot of his supporters don't want her on the ticket. I'm seriously afraid that there are a lot of Clinton supporters who figure McCain would be a one-term president and think they are better off voting for him or sitting the election out to give her another chance in 2012.


Is anyone else worried about this? Am I taking a vocal minority way too seriously, or is this a real concern?

P.S. Before you label me a concern troll, check out my journal, and read the posts I have written about campaigning for Obama in several different states. I would like to have a civil discussion with input from Obama supporters and Clinton supporters, if that's humanly possible.
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When the media played the scream over and over and his support collapsed between Iowa and New Hampshire I was angry. As the contests went on and he couldn't win a primary despite having been ahead in the polls for months, it was disheartening, and I refused to accept that it was over until he actually dropped out.

I thought Dean got a raw shake from the media and from the party establishment and I was bitter. I went through a phase where I swore I hated Kerry and would never vote for him. I was mad and defiant and it took me a while to get over it. In the end, I not only voted for Kerry but gave up several weekends volunteering for him, and I wouldn't even say I had to hold my nose to do it (though I wasn't as enthusiastic as I had been about Dean, or am now about Obama). I am just really glad I had stopped posting at DU by that point, so I did not have to deal with Kerry's supporters trashing my candidate and gloating that it was over before he dropped out, as it would have inevitably hardened me toward Kerry even more than I already was.

My point is, Obama supporters need to recognize that this is painful for Clinton's supporters at DU and in real life. Many of them have volunteered on her campaign or given money and they are just not ready to give up until she does, and we should respect that. Sure, I think there are some who are threatening not to vote for Obama in order to scare the supers into thinking he is unelectable, but the vast majority of her supporters here and in the real world are genuinely upset and feel that she has been treated unfairly by the media and the party establishment, and while I disagree, I recognize that I would probably see things differently if I were a Clinton supporter, as candidate preferences inevitably color the way we view things.

As an Obama supporter, I have been really upset by threads like <http://www.democraticunderground.com/discu... |this one>, which do nothing but insult Clinton supporters and rub salt in an open wound. I am not saying Clinton is above criticism, and if she attacks Obama I'll be all over her for it. But I am sickened by the degree of hatred that Obama supporters continue to display despite how close we are to winning and being in a position where we need to unify the party.

Is it stupid to judge a candidate based on his or her supporters on a message board? Absolutely. But it's inevitable. I've gotten so mad by things Clinton supporters on DU have said that I have threatened not to vote for her a few times, even though I can't imagine I would actually go through with not voting for her in the voting booth. But obnoxious Clinton supporters here would have made me less inclined to want to be a part of her campaign if she got the nomination, and I imagine many of us have made her supporters less inclined to want to volunteer for Obama.

The best thing we can do for Obama and for the party right now is to chill out, be grateful that it's almost over, give Clinton supporters time and space to come around, and work our asses off offline to register new voters and help Obama win the remaining primaries. Dwelling on Clinton's decision to stay in the race for a few more weeks and attacking her and her supporters accomplishes nothing, and it flies in the face of everything our candidate stands for.
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I have really mixed feelings about the idea of an Obama-Clinton ticket, so I thought I'd test out some of my theories here.

My thoughts:

If she had won North Carolina and they were at essentially a stalemate, with him having more delegates but her winning all the later contests, I think a Clinton/Obama ticket would have made a lot of sense.

But I am not sure the other way around makes as much sense. A lot of people see Obama as inspiring but inexperienced, and wonder if he is ready to be president. Clinton is seen as a policy wonk who has experience in the White House (though not on national security issues) and has a strong following but high negatives as well. I am not sure putting her on the ticket does much for the perception that Obama is inexperienced. Even though she's been winning the white working class vote for the most part, I am not sure that having her on the ticket would make people who can't bring themselves to vote for a black man any more willing to do so. Also, putting her on the ticket might drive away some support among independents and disgruntled Republicans.

On the other hand, she has a strong following, and putting her on the ticket might help to mollify some of her committed supporters. I know a few weeks ago, when it looked like Clinton might end up being the nominee after all, I felt that I would have a hard time voting for her, but if Obama were on the ticket it would be a no brainer. So I imagine it might be the same way for some Clinton supporters, particularly older women who may feel slighted.

Of course, these are just the electability considerations. There's also the question of whether or not she could play second fiddle as a VP candidate and as VP without undermining him, intentionally or not. Beyond the question of what role Bill would play, they'd have to see if they could agree on strategy and priorities for the campaign and the presidency, or if she is willing to go along with his judgment if she doesn't agree. I don't think they had that rough of a relationship before the past few months, so hopefully they could get along well enough to work together.

I know DU is hardly representative of the general public but I still thought this might be interesting. So please vote in the poll below, and feel free to comment. If I don't include an option for you post a comment.

Note: This poll assumes that Obama becomes the nominee, which I am not taking as a given yet. So if you are a Clinton supporter who is still holding out hope, good for you, and view this poll as a hypothetical, what you would do IF Obama is the nominee.

Comments welcome. I know there are other threads about the merits of a joint ticket, but I'd love to hear some intelligent arguments for or against here.

P.S. Someone please say something outrageous so this poll will get a lot of responses and a lot of people will vote in the poll.
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I went to West Virginia today with one of my coworkers to campaign for Obama. We went to Martinsburg, which is in the northeastern tip of the state, near the area where West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania all come together.

For a Jewish girl who grew up in New Jersey, West Virginia was a bit of a culture shock. Martinsburg is only two hours from my apartment in Northern Virginia, but it felt like it may as well be a different country. I had been to West Virginia once before, canvassing for Kerry in 2004, but the area we visited then seemed a lot more suburban and familiar than where we were today. Immediately upon arriving in Martinsburg today, we saw a car with a Confederate flag decal. Not exactly the most encouraging sign when you're about to knock on people's doors and tell them to vote for a black man.

I'd love to say my fears were unfounded, but those who say West Virginia is an uphill climb for Obama are not kidding. The first neighborhood we visited was sort of a cross between suburban and rural, with neighborhoods on one side of a main road and farmland on the other, though some of the farm land was being converted into housing developments. It was obvious that people had lived in that neighborhood for a long time, with one house bearing the name of the family and the year they moved in engraved on the front gates. I did not experience any overt racism, but there was definitely some hostility towards Obama. Most people just said "don't even bother" when I tried to give them literature.

The second neighborhood was a little better. The people at the headquarters had said that that neighborhood contained a lot of transplants from Maryland and Virginia, and it seemed a little more modern, younger, and more open to Obama. I did find one couple that was definitely voting for him, as well as a few genuine undecideds. People in that neighborhood were pretty nice, with a few people inviting me in (probably because of the rain).

The weirdest encounter I had was with a black man from Haiti, who claimed to be very educated about the candidates but was convinced that Obama is friends with terrorists and that the fact that Hamas said positive things about him is a cause for concern. I tried to refute his claims but he did not want to hear it. He also complained that he "did not want to vote for Obama just because he's black", and I pointed out that I'm white and I support Obama because I agree with his vision for this country and I think he possesses all the qualities of a great leader. I don't think I convinced him, but maybe he'll think about what I said.

At one point, we took a break from canvassing and went out to lunch at a restaurant called Shoney's. I think it's a chain that's popular in Appalachia...I had never been to one before, but I remember Al Gore mentioning it in a story he told when he spoke to a group of Congressional interns when I interned on the Hill in 2002. I asked our waitress if she was going to vote for Obama, and she said she hadn't decided who she was voting for. She said she was a registered Republican so she did not think she could vote in the primary, but it seemed like she was at least open to the prospect of voting for Obama in November. I knew West Virginia's primary was open to independents but I was not sure about Republicans, so I gave her some literature and told her to call the campaign to find out.

All in all, a bit of a discouraging day, but an interesting cultural experience for me. I'm glad I did it, just like I was glad I pushed myself to go to Raleigh two weeks ago when I was still depressed after Pennsylvania. One thing I will say about West Virginia - it sure is beautiful, especially at this time of year. The mountains of farmland and stately houses created a picturesque spring scene, and it sure was an enjoyable drive (at least on the way there. On the way back it was pouring, though I am hoping I may have won a couple sympathy votes for Obama by canvassing in the pouring rain).

Oh, and lest you think I am a bad daughter, please know that my whole family supports Obama and my mother and grandmother said that they would prefer that I go to West Virginia than drive up to Philly to be with them. I called my grandmother on the way back to wish her a happy Mother's Day, and she said she was proud that I was representing our whole family by being in West Virginia today, so that made me feel good.

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I know there has been a lot of back and forth already about Clinton's "hard working whites" comment, but I'm hoping to provide a balanced, civil approach (which means this thread will probably sink fast, but oh well).

First, I want to say that I don't think she was trying to imply that black people are not hard-working. If anything, I think it was the opposite...I think she said "hard working people" and then clarified that she meant white people, so as not to imply that black people are not hard-working. If she had just said "hard working people" and not added "white people", it might have sounded as if she was saying that the 90% of African Americans who have been voting for Obama don't work hard. So I think people who have accused her of implying that black people are lazy are off-base.

That being said, I still find her comments offensive, because she is essentially asking the superdelegates to count the votes of certain demographic groups more heavily than others. It's not just black people she is discounting here. I am a white woman with a college degree who voted for Obama in February, and she has essentially said that my vote matters less in gauging electability than the vote of a white person without a degree. She is discounting several groups of loyal Democratic voters, assuming that black voters can be taken for granted because they have voted 80-90% Democratic in the past. Meanwhile, according to her logic, instead of rewarding black voters for their loyalty, the superdelegates should reward the Reagan Democrats (a majority of whom voted for Bush in 2004) for being fickle, weighing their votes more heavily because they are considered swing voters.

Beyond that, what is most offensive to me about this and other comments she has made is that she is essentially hinting that she's more electable because she's white. No, she has not come right out and said that Obama is struggling with "hard working white people" because he's black, but we all know that race is at least a factor here. While canvassing for Obama in Philly on election day, I met one working class white guy who told me point blank that he could not vote for a black man, and said he thought his mother and grandmother would disown him if he did. He said that I was just a naive young person, and he asked if my parents knew what I was doing, as if it was something scandalous. I told him that my mom was right around the corner, canvassing for Obama with a broken foot because she believed in him that much, and that my grandparents were voting for Obama as well. He was really surprised...he said that he could not imagine the people he knew voting for a black person. Given some of the other interactions I had in that neighborhood, I think he was probably right. It was a bit of a shock to me, having grown up in a relatively upper-middle class neighborhood and living next door to a black family and never witnessing such overt racism before. The bottom line is, there is some resistance among working class white people to voting for a black person, and Clinton knows it as well as anyone, and she didn't have to say it directly for it to be obvious.

I know people who did not vote for Obama in the primaries because they thought America was just too racist to elect a black man, and they want Democrats to win this year. They may be right, and we're foolish to think that it's not going to be an uphill battle getting Obama elected. It's everyone's right as voters to consider electability, including electability arguments based on race and gender, when casting their own vote in the voting booth. But for the superdelegates to buy into that argument now and overturn the pledged delegates because they are afraid people are not ready to vote for a black man for president would essentially mean that they were denying Obama the nomination when he has earned it because he's black. Even if America is not ready to elect a black man, we've come too far to turn back now. The voters have spoken and barring some last minute scandal that derails Obama's campaign, there is no justification left for denying him the nomination.

I work in the labor movement, representing hard-working people of all colors who can't afford four more years of Bush-McCain policies. I want to win this election as badly as anyone, but not to the point where I could accept a nomination process in which black voters were considered less important than white voters and the first African American with a chance to become president was denied the nomination despite having more votes and more delegates simply because of the color of his skin. I have faith in the American people to look beyond skin color and realize that Obama offers a better vision and better solutions for this country than John McCain. But even if I end up being wrong, I would rather see my party do what's right and take the chance than abandon its commitment to civil rights and diversity and equal opportunity for all, which is essentially what the superdelegates would be doing if they took the nomination away from Obama at this point.

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A lot of my fellow Obama supporters are upset that Clinton has refused to drop out despite having almost no chance to capture the nomination, and some people don't understand why I am in no rush for her to drop out now. I'm as anxious to declare victory and go out and celebrate as anyone, but I recognize that if Obama's supporters get too aggressive and push her out, it will hurt him in the long run.

A week ago, I was wishing the supers had pushed Clinton out after Wisconsin, but now I am glad they didn't. If Obama had become the presumptive nominee after Wisconsin, he would have essentially skated to the nomination before anyone had time to pause and take a look at him. There were still a lot of states left to vote at that point, and Wright breaking in March could have created a scenario of buyer's remorse that weakened him for the fall.

If Wright had emerged after she dropped out, her supporters would have (rightly) been angry that she was pushed out before Obama had been fully "vetted" (though I disagree that this was even a legitimate issue to "vet" him on), and they would have felt that she was pushed aside prematurely before Obama ever had to face tough press scrutiny and before half the states got to vote. Before Wisconsin she did get much tougher scrutiny from the press and her opponents because she was the front-runner.

In February, she could credibly argue that he had not received as much scrutiny from the press, hadn't been tested under fire, and might not end up ahead at the end if Michigan and Florida were included. I'm glad she wasn't pushed aside before Obama faced tough scrutiny from the press, and before the later states had the chance to weigh in. I'm glad that he had to prove he could withstand negative attacks and bad press. I'm glad that he has had to face these challenges because it's made him a stronger candidate. While she may have taken a little bit of the glow off and some of her supporters may have hardened against him, it would have been a lot worse if she were pushed out prematurely and then Reverend Wright came out and made both her supporters and even people who voted for Obama wonder if the party had made a big mistake.

At this point, nobody can claim that he has not been vetted or tested. Nobody can claim that he got a free pass from the media and coasted to the nomination. Nobody can say that he is only ahead because of caucuses or because Michigan and Florida were "disenfranchised". He leads in every metric (except maybe land mass, which appears to be Terry McAuliffe's new formula) and Michigan and Florida would not change that. At the end of the primary season nobody will be able to claim that he does not have full legitimacy as the nominee, or that he skated to the nomination without withstanding scrutiny or overcoming adversity. He and his supporters will have earned the nomination fair and square and he'll be in a stronger position because of it.

By having to survive the past 2 months, Obama has essentially debunked her arguments about not being tested and vetted and able to withstand scrutiny. He has amassed a big enough delegate lead that Michigan and Florida don't matter, and a big enough popular vote lead that she is unlikely to take the lead in that either. The only argument she has left for the superdelegates is essentially a more subtle form of "I'm more electable because I'm white", and even if it's true, at this stage, to deny Obama the nomination based on the color of his skin, even if only because of fears about electability, would be a throwback to the days of Jim Crow, and the superdelegates are not going to be that stupid.

As I have gone to different states campaigning for Obama, I have witnessed more overt racism than I had ever experienced before, except for some unfortunate comments my great-grandfather made about the black staff at his nursing home not long before he died. At the beginning of the campaign season, I think I was a little naive in thinking that it would barely be a factor, because most racists had already become Republicans. After spending time on the campaign trail knocking on doors for Obama, I am under no illusion about the tough battle we face in getting him elected.

In order to do that, we need to have a united party with all hands on deck to help him, and that was only going to happen if his nomination was seen as fully legitimate. Clinton staying in the race until now helped to ensure his legitimacy, and whether she stays in through June 3 or drops out tomorrow, Obama is in a stronger position now than he would have been if she dropped out in February. As long as she keeps it positive, it's not going to hurt him much if Clinton stays in for another three weeks, and the superdelegates should not push her out unless she goes negative. If she chooses to drop out on her own that's one thing, but if superdelegates push her aside now it will only hurt Obama in the fall.
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