Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Release the Delegates

There has been some chatter on the blogs recently that Hillary's supporters might place her name in nomination at the Democratic convention and cast their votes accordingly. Much as I would love to watch sixteen hundred delegates stand up and vote proudly for Hillary--much as it would be a cathartic moment for many who supported her--such an exercise would be a huge mistake.

In Hillary Clinton's concession speech, she asked her supporters to put the campaign behind them, imploring us to remember that, "Every moment wasted looking back keeps us from moving forward." That particular sentiment is even more important today. The primaries are finished and the party must come together.

When Hillary addresses the Democratic National Convention at the end of this month, I would like to hear her release all of her pledged delegates and call for a unanimous vote for Senator Obama--perhaps even by acclamation rather than the traditional, turgid roll-call. The Olympics have it right when the celebrate the victor: there is a silver medal, true, but the crowd rises for only one national anthem.


Anonymous said...

I have this simmering fear that, just as in 2004, we may see defeat snatched from the jaws of victory. If this happens and McCain is elected I will throw in the towel and spend the rest of my life heaping contempt on Americans as a nation of hopeless fools that has elected the leaders they deserve and reaped the shit that they have sown.

Dr. Strangelove said...

Yup. If we elect McCain, we truly deserve him :-(

Raised By Republicans said...

I'll never forgive the Clintons if this happens. Never.

I'm a yellow dog Democrat (and I've proved it by voting for both Dukakis and Gray Davis). But if Clinton allows her supporters to sabotage Obama's nomination at the convention, I'll never, ever, vote for any Clinton (including Chelsea). And I'd volunteer and donate to defeat Hilary in any future national campaign.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Oddly, I disagree. Let the Clintonites vote. Let them be outvoted on the floor. Let the whole country see the Democrats vote down Hillary Clinton's nomination. That may be the only thing that finally puts this to rest. Clinton refused to say "The people have spoken: Obama is the nominee." Instead she harped on her 18 million voters, and Bill still won't hug him. It's time to be reminded that it wasn't all that close. It's time to be reminded that the people DID speak, and they chose Obama. I hope the convention follows the traditional path of showing the vote and showing the candidate actually win, with balloons and confetti the moment the magic number of delegates is reached. I want the whole country to see that the Democrats have turned a page, and I don't want anyone to feel coerced into voting for him.

Dr. Strangelove said...

Do you really think the primary contest was not close, LTG? Oh, please.

As it currently stands, Obama has 52% of the pledged delegates and Clinton has 48%--and those figures reflect Edwards' pledged delegates having gone over to Obama.

In terms of the popular vote, even in the most favorable count--including estimates for all caucuses excluding Florida and Michigan completely--Obama won 48.9% while Hillary won 47.7%.

Raised By Republicans said...

I think a public display of continued disunity within the party would be disasterous.

As for whether the nomination was close or not...that's not the point. The point is that Hillary had virtually no chance of winning the nomination for over a month and continued to run an agressive and divisive campaign. If she was serious when she promised to do what it takes to repair the split in the party then she must do everything she can to convince her more hot headed supporters to get behind Obama.

So far Hillary has done little more than stop attacking Obama and start asking his folks for money. Most of their joint appearances have been designed to get Obama fund raisers to help Hillary retire her massive campaign debt. This is an opportunity for her to do something really meaningful in the service of unity.

Dr. Strangelove said...

Hillary must, indeed, do all she can to get all of her supporters behind Obama--and the Democratic Convention will be the most important occasion to do so. A show of grace and unanimity would serve the party well, come the Fall.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Voting for another candidate is not a sign of disunity. You will see that at the GOP convention too. It happens every time. It makes the delegate count look realistic.

She should *urge* her delegates to vote for Obama publicly, perhaps in her keynote address. But not coerce them or try to bypass the voting altogether with acclamation. Anything short of an actual electoral defeat at the convention will leave Clinton people saying "she got rolled, coerced because she was a woman, etc."

When I said "it wasn't close" I wasn't talking about percentages of delegates. I was talking about whether the outcome was in doubt. After Obama got more delegates from Texas than Clinton, the outcome was all but mathematically certain. It never got close enough that it Clinton could win, short of a dramatic series of unexpected Clinton landslides (or a total betrayal by superdelegates of the democratic process).

Basically, I don't want Clintonites thinking that Clinton did Obama a favor by letting him win the nomination on acclamation. Screw that.

Raised By Republicans said...


Letting the Clintonistas think they helped Obama at a crucial moment is a lot better for the party than having a third of Clinton's delegates try to provoke a floor fight on national TV.

Dr. Strangelove said...

Obama has been magnanimous and gracious toward Hillary's supporters.
By contrast, LTG writes angrily that only an "actual electoral defeat" at the convention will finally give Hillary's supporters that crushing sense of defeat which LTG believes they so richly deserve. Those who imagine the only threat to Democratic party unity comes from disaffected Clintonites would do well to contemplate such vindictiveness.

Raised By Republicans said...

I kind of think Dr. S. is right about this.

If we really think that Hillary is about sabotaging Obama's election to facilitate her own run in 2012 then she only gets to do that if Obama's supporters demand some sort of public humiliation of her supporters.

Now, I do think that Hillary would be really really happy if McCain defeated Obama. But she can't be seen to be the cause of that defeat or the majority of rank and file Democrats will never let her get the nomination. So the only way she wins is if Obama picks a fight with her.

Obama needs to just sit by and quietly ask her to help him with her supporters. Then we Democrats need to insist that she give an honest effort in that. So far she has NOT DONE A THING.

Of course, holding her to her promise of support is different than trying to punish her supporters for backing the losing candidate.

At the same time, if her supporters can be recruited to be part of the big Democratic Tent, the experience might just encourage them to get with the program come November.

The Law Talking Guy said...

RBR- There won't be a floor fight. A floor fight is about trying to overturn rules or something else. This would just be a vote. It would show Obama winning the vote. This isn't about humiliation of Clinton delegates, because they mostly WANT to have a vote on the floor! I don't want them being glum and dolefully supporting Obama in a routine soviet-style vote. I want them to cast the votes they came for and lose.