1. By March 11, 2004 John Kerry had enough delegates to have the Democratic nomination in the bag. Post Super Tuesday 2000, Al Gore had over 2500 delegates. At this point, Obama’s lead over Hillary is about a third of the lead that Kerry March 2004 has over Obama’s April 2008 delegate count and a fifth of the lead Gore’s 2000 delegate count has over him, and that’s not even counting a month’s worth of primary’s totals for April for Kerry and Gore.*
Yet still I keep hearing that Hillary should resign because Obama is beating the pants off her and he’s clearly the people’s choice. (I even said so myself, though not in those terms, before I looked at the numbers. I’m going to change my position to “somebody should probably resign if only to save both candidates money, but I’m not calling for either candidate to do so.”)
2. The way we pick Democratic delegates does not reflect the way delegates will work in the fall election. Awesome that the five Democrats in Idaho picked Obama, but general-election-wise, so what? Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania generally are the ones who decide elections. Clinton polls better in all of them.
3. When Democratic officials made bad decisions in 2000 that ended up disenfranchising voters, people cared. Even looking at this purely pragmatically, y’all don’t think the folks in Florida are going to remember which candidate wanted their votes to count? If Obama wins the nomination, I’m sure the McCain camp will be happy to remind them how Obama favored mail-in voting in Congress, but rejected it when a state he was going to lose might be able to use it.
Yes, the Democratic officials in Florida and Michigan were the ones who screwed up. Much like it was Democrat screwups all around in Florida 2000. But I still think that Democrats in those two vital states are going to stay home if the guy who wanted their votes not to count is the Democratic nominee.
4. I just don’t like candidates who use emotion over reason as much as Obama does and I hate the way his supporters are talking about him and about Clinton. I’m tired of hearing criticisms of Obama being framed as “attacks on hope.” The man is not hope incarnate. He’s a politician. When the popular vote is with him and the delegate count isn’t, he says he really won. When the delegate count is with him and the popular vote isn’t, he also says he won. Duh, all politicians do that. I don’t hold the fact that he’s a politician against him. He hides it better than Clinton does, but when you get down to it, the tactics are a lot the same.
I’m tired of hearing Hillary’s offer to have Obama as a vice-president be called racist or at least demeaning, while Obama offering Gore (delegate count, March 2000: 2514) a job (not even the Vice Presidency) is a sign of Obama’s general awesomeness. WtF?
5. His most passionate supporters are so damn scary. You know how you can mention that the sky is blue and Robin Edgar can find a way to turn that into a negative thing about Unitarian Universalism or his church? Obama supporters are a little like that with Hillary Clinton. (E.g. Clinton just released her tax returns. It’s fascinating to watch people complain that the fact that she and Bill make a lot of money from speaking fees and/or complaint that they gave 10 percent of their income to charities and spin that as somehow less virtuous than the three percent Obama gave away. Huh?) Listening to Obama supporters feels like watching Fox News.
Also, it creeps me out how many Obama supporters say that if Clinton does win, they won’t vote for her.
How did “Dean or Green” work out in 2004? Not very well.
Anyway, I’m planning to vote for the guy come November if he wins the nomination. I don’t mind politicians. But I’m still nervous.
Ducking and covering.
* That is all very awkwardly phrased. The simple version is “Kerry and Gore had their nominations more than sewn up a full month before now. If Obama is the people’s choice, why aren’t more people voting for him?”