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The Obama-Edwards Summit: What it means

obama_flies.jpgFrom ABC News Political Radar, Obama and Edwards Sit Down in North Carolina, the post describes a meeting presumably to talk about an Edwards endorsement. Hmmmm, of course, Obama would benefit greatly from an Edwards endorsement but why? Why not just ask John to remain uncommitted until after March 4? That way, no one benefits and both have to earn delegates the old fashioned way- in the voting booth.

Unless, Obama can’t win votes that way.

Bear with me. I think I’ve mentioned before that Obama is spending money like it’s going out of style. His pattern is to go to the inner city and drum up support among the African-American population. (BTW, this is not a racist comment, it’s just an observation based on that staple of all political campaigns- vote counting.). But he can’t convert the money to a win in states where the African-American vote doesn’t reach a critical mass. In bigger, more diverse states, the African-American vote is more dilute. So, what does he have left in the primary schedule? He has a lot of large, diverse states without a critical mass of his core constituent voters. He needs to capture the working class guys in WI, OH and PA. So, he petitions Edwards for his endorsement. Probably really, REALLY pleads for an endorsement. But the Edwards endorsement will not get him the votes he needs. Why?

Because somewhere on the web, there is an article that shows that populist Edwards, that candidate for the little guy, was the champion for the middle class and elite Democratic regulars. Yep, populist Edwards was really backed by guys like Paul Krugman not Jake the Plumber. It may be one of the reasons he flamed this time out. For some reason, he couldn’t capture the people he wanted to help. Those people are voting for Hillary.

So, what this is telling me is that Obama might be a cocky frontrunner but he’s in deep @#$% in the states he needs to sew this up. I expect the meeting between Clinton and Edwards was somewhat different. More along the lines of, “We’d really appreciate your support, your people mean a lot to us and you know that as far as policy goes, you can count on us to carry your banner in the White House. But if you can’t endorse now, we understand. Maybe you can let things play out and think the matter over after March 4. If there’s anything you need, John, please give us a call. We’re always available.”

Betcha Obama’s meeting involved a lot more sweat.

MI and FL would count if the DNC wanted them to

kabukiCorrente has a little ditty on the MI and FL delegations and how Obama approves of counting them in, as long as they don’t really count, if you get my drift. And who can blame him? There are a lot of delegates, Hillary delegates, at stake.

But let’s be honest about this: these two states were penalized by a technicality while three other states (IA, NH and SC) were not penalized at all for flouting the rules. And everyone can see through this kabuki. We know that they know that we know that there are forces inside the DNC who are trying their damndest to tip the scales in Obama’s favor.

It doesn’t sound very Democratic to me. But I am not at all surprised that Obama is cool with it.

Note to Vastleft:  I’m not at all sure that the Hillary supporters are going to be as sanguine about losing the nomination as you suggest.  It’s just that our anger and disappointment will likely not manifest itself in hysterical fits and petulance.  It will be a lot more subtle and long lasting than that and party insiders should ask themselves if they really want to go there if they like their current jobs.

Spending money like a sailor

Obama’s campaign shows a pattern of spending vast quantities of money in places where he thinks he can convert the inner city vote.  He’s doing it again in WI where the polls are very close and there are a large number of undecideds.   This is the same thing that happened here in NJ.  He spent so much more money here than the Clinton campaign that it gave the Clinton staffers the willies.  But it didn’t help Obama at all in NJ.  Part of the reason might have been geographical, part might be due to the large number of Asians in NJ who tend not to be susceptible to “cults of personalities” (perhaps because some of them have lived through them in their native countries).  But whatever the reason, it seems like Obama spends a lot of money in coastal state primaries but can’t convert to a win.  There are exceptions, of course, CT, MD, VA and DE for example.  But I think a clever campaign operative on the Clinton side can see the pattern clearly and where there’s a pattern, there is always room for the element of surprise.

This also makes me think that in spite of all of the money that Obama’s raised, his burn rate in primary states is much higher than hers.  He probably doesn’t have the huge money advantage that he used to have.

Everyone can grow up to be president

This video was recommended to me by a couple of readers (thanks ghost2 and bmc!) It gets The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pantsuit seal of approval. It is the perfect antidote to MSNBC and the thoughtless comments that diminish the aspirations of adolescent girls. My little 12 year old dynamo would make an excellent president someday and her older sister would make a terrific White House Chef.  Now is the time on The Confluence ven ve dahnce:

And one more time for emphasis, here is the ERA ratification map. Project the population booming states, geographical advantages and caucus vs primaries and draw your own conclusions. GO HILLARY!


I’d like to thank the WGA for going on strike

If it hadn’t been for so many people having nothing better to watch on TV, many of them wouldn’t be watching the debates. I walked into my local Starbucks yesterday and people noted my Hillary Clinton campaign button leftover from a couple weeks ago. I could hear snippets of conversation swirling around of a political nature. I accidentally took someone elses tall caramel latte and was really embarrassed but the young woman whose drink it was said, “That’s OK, I forgive you. At least you’re not voting for McCain.”

This is a very red suburb where there isn’t a single Democrat on the Township committee. About 4500 people voted in the precincts in our town just for the Democrats and Hillary edged out Obama by about 100 votes. People are paying attention, ready to work together and motivated. And for that, I would like to thank the WGA.

Now, get back to work on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report before I start to lose my patience!

This is not a feminist blog*

clinton_kennedy1.jpegHR delivers commencement speech

Believe it or not.

But it has occured to me that I took my citizenship entirely too casually. I just assumed that guys in their twenties were raised better, that their mothers dope slapped them every once in awhile when they said something stupid about their female friends in day care. I should have known better, living here in the middle of ticky-tacky land where the neighborhood Christmas parties are strictly segregated by sex, the ladies gathering in the family rooms to relate their labor stories to the pregnant acolytes, the men in the kitchen next to the garage discussing 401K’s and lawn mowers. I made the stupid assumption that this was just a peculiarity of the suburbs and, sure, there’s plenty of sexism at work. But I just figured it was a generational thing and when the old guys retired, the women would move up to take their place.

But I was stunned recently when the only female manager in my department, the hardest working, most collaborative, fairest and mentoring woman I have ever worked for was passed over to be director for a man who I barely know and who carefully kept in the shadows spreading rumors about the women in my group. The day the announcement was made that this man was taking over the department, my manager, I., gave a little speech of support. I knew she was disappointed but she made the best of what was a very bad situation for her. Not only did she miss out on a promotion but the department was reorganized so that what power she did have was diminished. Nevertheless, this talented lady made an inspiring speech and urged us all to put in our best efforts to produce quality work. She completely outshined the man who took the place that should have gone to her. He struggled in vain to figure out how the AV equipment worked and no one stepped up to assist him. Maybe it was wrong, but we were just so angry about the whole thing that we let him fumble around with the projector until he finally give up in frustration.

People, there *is* plenty of sexism in the world today. And it would be stupid for us to assume that it doesn’t exist, that we aren’t all running around with our XX chromosomes pinned to our chests so that everyone can see that we are women first and professionals, intellectuals, hard-workers, gifted musicians, artists, cooks, citizens second. We’ve all met men who talk to our tits instead of our eyes. We can be dismissed, shoved aside, lied about. Negative campaigning works all too well against us.

There’s only ONE good reason to vote for Hillary Clinton for president. It’s because she is the best candidate to run the country in a post-Bush era. That’s the only reason as the letter from Feminists for Clinton demonstrates very clearly.

But let’s not kid ourselves. The women of the country were criminally complicit in their own diminishment as fully enfranchised persons in their own right, regardless of their chromosomal makeup. That was what feminism was all about. It is about becoming recognizable persons deserving of respect and with the same opportunities as anyone else who is qualified to do a particular job.

You don’t have to vote for Hillary because she’s a woman. Vote for her because she’s the best *person* for the job.

*Yes it is.

One other thing: Check out this map. This is where the Equal Rights Amendment did and did not pass. There isn’t a lot of correlation with the present primary and caucus wins but look at where Illinois fell on the map. Weird. It does suggest one thing to me, however. The caucus states may not be the best place to get a feel for the will of the electorate.