Super Tuesday Eve
1,668 delegates are at stake tomorrow for the Democratic presidential nomination. (No matter what happens, we won't have to put up with the creatures cutting up the cake above.) That's excluding super-delegates, who don't respond to actual votes, just to their own whims or to "cash support" given to them by the Hillary or Obama campaigns. Hillary Clinton paid off the campaign debts of (Iowa Governor) Tom Vilsack, in addition to cash donations, insisting there was no quid pro quo in garnering his early support and making him a campaign co-chair.
Divvying up campaign money is the simple part; probably only professional pols and staffers can begin to fully understand nominational mechanics, which vary widely depending on state. Michigan, for example, carried only Hillary on its ballot because it violated convention rules, rendering its substantial number of delegates technically unallowable. Same for Florida. Why, one might ask? Here's One Shoe Dropping:
Trying to ramp up the importance of Florida's Democratic presidential primary, Hillary Clinton on Friday called for her Democratic rivals to join her in helping get Florida delegates seated for the national convention.... "I hear all the time from people in Florida and Michigan that they want their voices heard in selecting the Democratic nominee," the New York senator said in a statement. "I believe our nominee will need the enthusiastic support of Democrats in these states to win the general election, and so I will ask my Democratic convention delegates to support seating the delegations from Florida and Michigan."In other words, the Clintons want to count Florida's 210 delegates as their own, probably Michigan's as well, even though those two primaries went so far out of bounds (violating Party rules) that no other Democratic candidates would appear on the ballots. To me, allocating those delegates to either candidate would negate their nomination's legitimacy. Michigan and Florida decided to violate their party's rules, so their delegates should be disqualified. If not, shouldn't the Party just ignore all their other rules? Howard Dean will play a powerful role in deciding what to do.
While I will take these people over the Bushes any day, I keenly remember who they are. So do others:
"Mrs. Clinton claims that her time in that role was an active one. (Bill) can hardly be expected to show less involvement when he returns to the scene of his time in power as the resident expert. He is not the kind to be a potted plant in the White House...Which raises an important matter. Do we really want a plural presidency? " (Garry Wills, a professor emeritus of history at Northwestern)I remember when Bill Clinton personally ordered, without convening the Chiefs of Staff, the bombing campaign in Kosovo; it started 8 hours before the Senate was meeting to impeach him, the House having already done so. The Senate said impeachment would be inappropriate during a time of war. Yes, Bill and Hillary were subject to Republican jihads for Whitewater and Monica, but it must also be admitted that clearing up the first merely required handing over a few financial papers, and clearing up the second would've been easier without Bill's history as a sexual predator.
"Do Bill Clinton’s red-faced eruptions and fact-challenged rants enhance or diminish his wife as a woman and a candidate?...Absent from this debate is any sober recognition that a Hillary Clinton nomination, if it happens, will send the Democrats into the general election with a new and huge peril that may well dwarf the current wars over race, gender and who said what about Ronald Reagan." (NYT: Frank Rich)
Most of Bill’s tantrums were behind closed doors. But during Hillary’s presidential campaign, we’ve seen the real Bill boiling with rage... But don’t think that he can’t stage blowing his top when he thinks it will be strategically useful...Bill’s tantrums are causing the press to focus on him and not Hillary. That’s what he wants. No more questions about her experience, her ethics, her flip-flops. Now it's all about Bill. (Former Clinton advisor, Dick Morris)
"The Clinton camp knows what it’s doing, and its slimy maneuvers have been working. .. But the damage to Senator Obama has been real, and so have the benefits to Senator Clinton of these and other lowlife tactics." (NYT: Bob Herbert)
I can see why people would vote for Hillary, and respect the position. She's a policy wonk, and at least she's an adult. Tactical handling of issues will improve, and the Clintons are better than the Bushes. But let's not kid ourselves: these people, both of them, are dirty. They're not going to roll back the Patriot Act, Iraq, FISA, torture, or much else. They're not even very good leaders, and we're going to need great leadership. Which happens to be a quality Barack Obama has consistently exhibited over his entire adulthood.
If Hillary Clinton is elected, it would unify Republican reaction to such an extent as to literally endanger the union. For that reason alone, I cannot welcome their return to the Presidency of this country. They had their chance. But there's another, even bigger reason: I would not welcome John McCain, who would have an excellent, unthinkable chance of winning against a Hillary ticket.