Thursday, June 05, 2008

So they met tonight...

According to both sides, and I believe this is great news, as it will lead to unity in the fall and victory over John "Keating Five" McCain.

As the loyal readers of this blog know, after Edwards dropped out, I waited a little bit, and then went with Obama because he was a break from the past. While I have been involved here since 1978, most Democrats around here believed in the Clinton model, which is the only way we had won Presidential elections since Jimmy Carter. That, and the relationships formed when Bill Clinton was first Governor and then President, is what led most local elected Democrats to get on the Hillary train; well, that, and they thought she was a lock to win.

I confess that, twelve months ago, while I was not getting on that train myself, I too thought she was a shoo-in, because I thought she had a lock on women (she did) and African-Americans (which she did until Iowa). Iowa, however, changed everything, most notably in that African-Americans looked at the astonishing victory of Barack Obama and said, Holy Smokes, HE CAN WIN. Despite Senator Clinton's best moment in the campaign, IMO, when she broke down the day before the New Hampshire Primary that she would win, she never really regained her stature after that point. With Senator Obama handling everything that came his way, he held steady over the long haul, and won the nomination.

Did Senator Clinton suffer from misogynistic attacks? Yes, but by the media, not the Obama camp; Chris Matthews still needs his ass kicked for what he said about her. To be blunt, the racist attacks against Senator Obama, which were done on the sly by a Clinton campaign that damn well knew better, were more damaging to him for the fall election. Fortunately, there's time to overcome that.

While the Clintons are doing the right thing and I applaud and salute them for it, I am reminded of what my Godfather has told me. The version I remember is that in victory, there is credit to go around; however, when a campaign loses, it is ultimately the candidate who is responsible for the defeat. Jonathan Alter of Newsweek talks about some of the reasons for Obama's victory and Clinton's loss here; thanks to Wintermute for the tip!

Obama out-organized her and planned this almost like a NASCAR team for the long season. You know there are some tracks (states) more suited to your driving (campaigning) style, and some that aren't. You know that your opponent is going to skip the races you will win, so you are able to amass points (delegates) there, but you also know that if you show up and contest at the tracks (states) you are likely to lose, you can still gain points (delegates) so that by the end of the season, though you may not have won as many races, you're still the driving champion on points. Not only that, he had more sponsors (donors) than his opponent, so he was able to hit them up every time he needed to replace an engine!

It appears to me that the Clinton camp was committed to the Clinton model, which was run more like a prizefighter who was going for a quick knockout. She too had backers, but not nearly as many, so that when she needed more money, she had nowhere to go.

That's why Obama is in the Chase for the Cup and Clinton is in the corner wondering how she lost a 15-round unanimous decision. Make no mistake about it, this was historic, just unsuccessful in its ultimate goal.

The saddest thing of all is that if she had come out before this started and said that the president of the United States lied to her and Congress about the war, and had been forceful enough about it, she could have pre-empted all the DFHs like myself from going to Obama. Her decisions, from the people with whom she surrounded herself, backfired on her, and her own judgment did her in.

Those of us who have seen what the Clinton loss has done to feminists of longstanding like the folks at TGW need to step back and let them grieve, as for them this is like a death. Imagine if you had worked against sexism (and you're damn right it exists, don't pretend otherwise) for thirty or forty years and KNEW a year ago that you would finally see a female elected President in your lifetime, one who believed in YOUR issues, only to see it snatched away from them. You'd be mighty damned upset, too.

Let them yell, let them howl, let them grieve, and LEAVE THEM ALONE FOR NOW. When the time comes, and it will, some time in late October, they will come to realize that the PLANET might not survive a John McCain presidency, and they will vote for Obama. They will be PISSED about it, but they will do it because they are soldiers, and they have too much heart to work against everything they have fought for all those years to put in place.

For the rest of us, the work will continue, as we have a nominee to elect to the Presidency. He is a man who believes in the 50-State Strategy, as evidenced by his retention of Howard Dean as DNC Chair for the fall campaign. He is a man who believes that we CAN change this country for the better, because the alternative is not acceptable.

He is Barack Obama, and YES WE WILL.


Sharon Cobb said...

Well said.

I can't imagine any feminist voting for a candidate who has said he wants to overturn Roe vs Wade, and is going to get 3 Supreme Court nominations.

Hopefully they will realize that when they're done grieving.

Newscoma said...

LWC, this is a thoughtful and wonderful post.
As Sharon said, well said.

leftwingcarolinablue said...

For a variety of reasons that I have sometimes expressed to you, I think Obama is the one Democratother than Joe Biden--and subsequently a person for whom I could vote for rather than as only a protest against others--who has the potential to re-create those international and national structures that may prevent the literal collapse of civilization. Obama will embody, if he is elected, a politically unique position of maintaining his own partisanship while moving beyond it in his relationships with Congress and subsequently not as dependent on domestic circumstances to frame his foreign policy. In other words, Obama will be able perhaps to make some headway in reducing tension and increasing rough stability among a variety of nations and regions so that we can combat a recognized set of shared and increasingly complex threats. If he can pull stability and combatting off, Obama may well go down as one of our great or at least near-great Presidents.
I'm also very, very proud, relieved and even a bit surprised that Hillary conceded with the grace she showed today. Of course, she has her own motives, but her words told me today that she well understands how the tenuousness of our society and the world extends way, way beyond her own political aspirations. I'll be even more impressed if she campaigns for Obama throughout the summer and fall with the same grace and understanding she showed today. I think she'd make a marvelous Supreme Court Justice too. Much like Salmon P. Chase proved for President Lincoln and Earl Warren was for President Eisenhower.

Sharon Cobb said...

ON the other hand, I have been banned from TGW.
That's a first.

And I've known her for 13 years in real life, and ALWAYS there for egalia in real life.

I think TGW may be grieving, but are so filled with hate and anger, they've gone over the edge.

Jennifer said...

Excellent post. Obama had a superior strategy to win delegates across the country and simply outcompeted Clinton. There was both racism and sexism in the primary, but neither decided the outcome. I'm so sick of Clinton supporters screaming bloody murder that their candidate lost because Obama is a crazed sexist. That's just nuts.

Anyway, I'm really happy to have found your blog. I used to be a regular commenter at TGW until they went off the deep end. I've been trying to find another sane southern blog to talk politics!

Blinders Off said...


I knew when I first found your site years ago you were a loyal Democrat solider and I was questioning why I should remain a Democrat. You have always called it like you see in black and white and that is what I like about your site. This is a well-written post and I know you would be saying the same thing to Obama supporters had he lost the nominee.

I was frustrated, bitter, and angry during this Democrat Primary as a woman and as an African American, but mainly as an African American because the racist that wants to keep America back. I did not hold on to my frustration, bitterness, and anger because life is to short for that and I cannot change the mindset of ignorant thinking.

Hillary and her supporter were confident that African Americans would vote for her if she had been the nominee. As frustrated, bitter, and angry I was at her campaigned and the actions of her supporters I said I would never vote for Hillary if she became the nominee. As you so eloquently pointed out in your post I and many other African Americans would have realized the importance of a Democrat POTUS and voted for the Democrat nominee.

The problems of America are larger than what people who refuse to vote for Obama because they are angry Hillary lost. The reality is there are many who WILL NOT vote for him because he is a black man. I believe in my heart many WILL vote for him because he is an American who can take the USA forward and we will have a Democrat POTUS. God help us if McCain wins because of anger and bigotry.