A few news stories that I find interesting but not necessarily worth a full blog:
First, according to Jonathan Alter of Newsweek, the fight over seating the Michigan and Florida delegates has actually led superdelegates to support Obama. Mostly his piece is about how Clinton could use the issue to help define her role in the convention, or even the party as a whole, in a post-Hillary ticket. But he does say the effect will be limited because, at the end of the day, the people who make the decisions in the DNC don’t really feel sorry for Michigan and Florida, and view Clinton’s stance on it as somewhat hypocritical, given that she agreed the votes shouldn’t count last fall and her chair (Terry McAuliffe) held a similarly hard line against Michigan when he was running the DNC. It’s been so distasteful for some, that Simon Rosenberg of the New Democrat Network said it was “instrumental” in securing many of Obama’s superdelegate support.
Now, the New Democrat Network is a combination of a (527) group and a PAC, and that’s always dangerous. But Simon Rosenberg was a finalist for the DNC chair in 2004 before ceding the position and putting his support behind Dean, so he obviously has some high-powered information. It’s not surprising that the superdelegates didn’t put much weight on the role of Michigan and Florida when casting their decisions. One thing that has always confused me is Clinton keeps making public arguments out of the nuances of the nominating process, when her only hope now lies in the superdelegates. She can try to sway her supporters into believing that caucuses aren’t democratic or that Florida and Michigan Democrats did nothing wrong and shouldn’t be punished, or that we should only count the votes in a certain, convoluted way, but she’s had the delegate count lost for quite some time now and her campaign has admitted for the last couple of months that she would need strong superdelegate support to win the nomination. The problem is, these superdelegates are party insiders; they know how the system works, are (assumedly) very well informed of its developments, and have gotten their prestigious jobs from this process. It’s absurd to think they’ll bite into the propaganda just because the Clinton’s ask them to.
But to hear that it not only didn’t sway support to Clinton, but actually led to support for Obama, did take me aback. Evidently, they were just as insulted by the rhetoric as I have been.
In related news, Democrat Rules Committee Member, former chairman, and Clinton supporter Donald Fowler said that Obama could pretty much let Hillary have her way, within reason, without “threatening his postion.” In other words, a very powerful Clinton superdelegate admitted that Obama’s more or less got this locked up and Florida and Michigan cannot make a meaningful impact. “If he thinks he’s threatened, he won’t do it, and I don’t blame him. But unless something unusual happens between now and then, he will be in good shape.” Not only is the writing on the wall, but Peter Parker took its picture, printed it in the Daily Bugle, and it’s now on page 537 of your son’s high school history book.
To her credit, Clinton has done her part and laid off the rhetoric lately, apparently abandoning her “kitchen sink” strategy for one which, while ultimately ineffective (of course, so was the kitchen sink), should help make her case without damaging Obama for the general election. Yesterday she went so far as to express regret for saying that he won’t be able to win over “hard working Americans, white Americans.” In an interview with ABC News, she was told that Congressman Charles Rengel from New York called the remark “the dumbest thing you could have possibly said.” Clinton’s response? “Well, he’s probably right.”
Her only real argument for staying in the election seems to be that she’s “not a quitter,” and it would be wrong to leave before every state votes. This was pretty much Mike Huckabee’s argument before McCain won the nomination. As long as she continues to be more Huckabee than, let’s say, Hillary Clinton, this thing should end pretty smoothly.
Though Clinton supporters will have another “Obama’s sexist” log to throw on the fire. Evidently, Obama had to call a reporter and leave a voice mail (he’s been leaving a lot of voice mail recently) to say he’s sorry for calling her “sweetie.” This is really a non-story; I don’t know how many times a black woman has called me “honey.” I find it rather endearing. But since some of these Clinton supporters (in my belief, a very small but much too vocal minority) seem to want to find sexism in every thing about this nomination, I’m sure it will come up. Be forewarned. I guess I can’t seem to blame them too much. A person they thought was entitled to win the nomination lost, and of course that can’t be the candidate’s fault. Human nature. How can the Patriots lose the Super Bowl? Obviously they weren’t outplayed; the officials must have screwed up the timing, or something.
Finally, I would like to say something about fantasy baseball. I love fantasy sports. I’ve been in two leagues; I was the champion in my football league debut and took home the (digital) third place trophy in my baseball debut. And now I’m tearing up, absolutely shredding, my second baseball season. How good am I? Jake Peavy, one of my starting pitchers, was hit hard by the Cubs, giving up four runs in only four innings of work. Then Kerry Wood, one of my closers, gave up a run and let four people reach base in his only inning of work, which wasn’t even a save situation. And yet my lead against my poor opponent increased from 6-5 to 9-2. Last week I won 12-0 in the league’s only shutout of the year, and over the last two weeks my record was 22-2.
That, my friends, is a powerhouse.