Archive for the ‘Delegates’ Category

Howard Dean Decides Not to Seek Second Term as DNC Chair

November 10, 2008

howard-dean1Word has just come in that Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, will  not seek another term as chairman.

Although I disagree with his politics, I have admired Howard Dean for his charisma and (partially) his leadership of the Democratic Party.  But before I get into that, I’ll give you his quote regarding the November elections, released November 4th:

This has been a truly historic, transformational election. Tonight, our country chose hope over fear, the future over the past, unity over division. This election also reflects the passing of the torch to a new generation. Barack Obama inspired young voters across this country to answer the call and get involved. They responded to his promise to put partisanship and divisiveness aside and come together as one nation to find solutions. They turned out. They made calls. They knocked on doors. And they helped change our country.

The American people have given all of us – Democrats, Republicans and Independents – a simple mandate: to work together find big solutions to the big challenges facing our country. We must work together to change the direction of our wonderful country and to restore America. With the help of strong Democratic majorities in Congress, President Barack Obama is going to set this nation on a course to provide the change we need.

Today I am humbled by what we have accomplished over the last four years. Together, we can build on this moment to bring our nation together and work as one to overcome the challenges we face. It is what we as Americans have always done. Under Barack Obama’s leadership, we’ll do it again.

Now, my opinion of Dean…

Back in 2004, when he ran for President, and had his “Dean Scream” (which I just had to post below), I didn’t criticize him.  I commended him for his charisma.

And when he stood up to Michigan and Florida and was planning on stripping them of their delegates, I commended him, for sticking to his guns and keeping his word.  Then, it became apparent that those delegates may be necessary to help end the primary race (or at least give Barack enough momentum for him to finish ahead before the actual floor vote), and he backed down and agreed to seat them with half votes.  I lost a lot of respect for Dean that day, because he gave in to pressure.

Still, he’ll remain one of the politicians that I admire, even though I staunchly disagree with his politics.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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McCain Ad: Former Clinton Delegate Turned McCain Supporter

August 25, 2008

This is one of McCain’s latest ads, Debra.  Watch the video, and I’ll post my thoughts below it:

It’s a good ad.  I would’ve liked it better if she’d have done that on her own, instead of going to the McCain campaign to do it, because it looks more forced that way, but it still shows the fact that a lot of Clinton supporters are 1) mad about Obama being the nominee and 2) willing to actually do something about it.

Also, Obama is more liberal than Clinton, and the fact that McCain is a moderate conservative means that Clinton supporters are  going to be more willing to cross the party line than they normally would be.

I say, good for Debra Bartoshevich (the woman in the ad), who was a former delegate from Wisconsin.  She was removed from the position of delegate when the Wisconsin Democratic Party found out that she violated (or intended to violate) a a pledge that she signed when she accepted the position (a pledge to uphold the local rules, which apparently wouldn’t allow her to vote for McCain at the convention as she intended), they voted not to seat her at the convention.

Hopefully she brings over some more former Clinton supporters!

And I’d better never hear Obama say that George Bush stole the election because he lost the popular vote, since Clinton beat Obama by 223,243 votes (including caucus goers).

Originally, I was saying they should’ve picked Edwards.  Obviously that would’ve gone badly, so now I think they’d  have been screwed no matter who they picked.

Clinton supporters are going to make this easy for McCain!

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Now that He’s Safe, Obama Wants to Seat Michigan and Florida’s Delegates

August 5, 2008

Well, this came as a move that we all knew would happen, but it doesn’t make it any less disgusting.  After complaining and whining about seating Michigan and Florida’s delegates (156 and 211 delegates, respectively), and settling on a compromise that would still make him pretty safe to win the nomination, Obama has decided that he wants to seat all of Florida and Michigan’s delegates to the DNC, with FULL votes (they were all going to be seated with 1/2 votes).

Here’s an excerpt from a letter he wrote to the Credential Committee: “As these delegates go about the important business of the Convention, I believe Party unity calls for the delegates from Florida and Michigan to be able to participate fully alongside the delegates from the other states and territories.”

Well, that’s convenient.  Now that you’re safe, you have them seated.  Now, even having all of these delegates seated now wouldn’t give Clinton the victory, but it may have changed the outcome.  Who knows what kind of butterfly effect could’ve happened if Clinton had more of a chance of actually achieving a majority of the delegates.  I don’t think she’ll do anything, but Obama isn’t doing this because he wants them seated, he’s doing it purely for his political image and personal gain.  If he cared about those states’ voters, he’d have done this before.

Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) and Democratic Party activist Debbie Dingell put out a joint statement saying, “This underscores the need for a fairer and more sensible process for selecting presidential nominees.  We have always been confident that Michigan would have a full delegation and a full vote.”

Meanwhile, Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Thurman said, “Today is a proud day for all of us who fought so hard to ensure Floridians votes are fully counted.  [Obama has proved] his commitment to uniting the party and ending the uncertainty surrounding the process.”

Alexis Herman, James Roosevelt Jr. and Eliseo Roques-Arroyo, the 3 co-chairs of the Credentials Committee, said that this will be their “top priority” in their August 24th meeting, and went on to say, “As always our goal is to ensure a fair process and a unified Democratic Party so that we can win in November.”

Obama later told reporters, “As we prepare to come together in Denver, however, we must be — and will be — united in our determination to change the course of our nation.”

Obama is nothing but scum for doing this this way.  Hopefully the voters of Michigan and Florida see through his scheme and don’t vote for him this November.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Does Michigan Need a Constitutional Convention? Absolutely Not

July 12, 2008

So, earlier this week, Dennis Lennox made the following statements, proposing that Michigan Legislators put a call for a constitutional convention on this November’s ballot (instead of waiting until 2010 like it otherwise would):

It’s Time Michigan Call a Constitutional Convention

With radical disgruntled Democrats pushing a host of deceptive constitutional amendments under the Reform Michigan Government Now umbrella, it’s time for sensible legislators in Lansing to ask voters in November to call a constitutional convention in 2009.

The constitutional convention question would have automatically come in November 2010 – it appears on the ballot every 16 years – but with the threat of Michigan government being destroyed by a partisan agenda, it’s critical voters revise the state Constitution with practical solutions to the issues plaguing our state.

Just as sensible Democrats, Republicans and independents came together under the leadership of George Romney and the auspices of Citizens for Michigan in the early 1960s, it’s time for the same sensible folks to come together to ensure Mark Brewer’s twisted fantasies aren’t passed be naïve voters who think they’re cutting the pay of senators and representatives and downsizing state government.

While few in state politics have paid much attention to the issues surrounding a constitutional convention until very recently, I have been on the issue for more than year and had the opportunity to write bipartisan amendments aimed at cleaning up the Constitution of 1963.

As a student at Central Michigan University, I participated in a semester-long research project by then-professor and Inside Michigan Politics editor Bill Ballenger. We examined the Constitution and possible changes that included virtually everything ever talked about and then some. We also decided we  needed a constitutional convention now instead of waiting until a vote in 2010. In the end, a large number of my proposals were adopted by our class using a mock legislature format. Unfortunately, some of my better proposals – such as eliminating individual boards of control for the 15 public universities and creating a single board of trustees that is partisan and elected on the statewide ballot – didn’t gain support across the aisle to have the two-thirds support to pass. Nevertheless, what did pass was a good package of reform that was later adopted by Senator Michelle McManus, R-Lake Leelanau, who had me testify before a committee hearing and later introduced the measure as Senate Joint Resolution I.SJRI passed not only committee, but also the Senate as a whole. Sadly, it has been stalled in the House Judiciary Committee since early November 2007 – making passage and placement on this year’s general election ballot unlikely. It was originally our hope that the House would have passed it in time for a vote to take place during the presidential primary election.But with yesterday’s news that House Republican Leader Craig DeRoche, R-Novi, supports a constitutional convention question on November’s ballot, there is renewed hope that my proposal will once again gain attention – driving the discussion towards the issues that a constitutional convention would likely examine.

This is why I support a constitutional convention and will work to see the question passes if it’s placed on the ballot in November.
 
 
 

 

Certainly there are downsides to a convention – namely the high costs.

There would be a special election for delegates, who in turn would have hefty campaign expenses as they would run on a partisan basis. You could expect hotly-contested campaigns, as a convention would essentially become an ideological tussle for many interest groups.

Another major cost is the actual convention. Unless the Legislature took the unusual step of adjourning during the convention – freeing up the two chambers and associated committee rooms for convention delegates – there would need to be space allocated, as well as offices and staff support.

This would all come at a high price for a state with a budget and economic crisis, but it would certainly be worth the cost when you weigh the alternative – complicated amendments that would essentially rewrite the Constitution bundled together in a deceptive package aimed at confusing voters.

During my five months of in-depth study into the Michigan Constitution, I came to the conclusion a convention would have to consider term limits, consolidation of local units of government including the merging of counties to create regional authorities, the election of judges, removing archaic and invalid provisions from the 1963 text, restrictions on ballot question groups and numerous other issues.

However, the biggest issue for both Democrats and Republicans was term limits.

My proposal extended the maximum length of service to 20 years – allowing a legislator to serve four, two-year terms in the House and three, four-year terms in the Senate, or 10, two-year terms in the House. This was controversial, and was the only item in our package not introduced by McManus in the Senate.

In an ideal situation, a successful reform of term limits proposal could also change the length of terms. There was significant support to limit House members to two, four-year terms for a total of eight years, while senators could serve two, six-year terms for a total of 12 years.

This would allow legislators to focus more on serving constituents and do-away with the constant election cycle, and it wouldn’t significantly increase their time in Lansing.

While some might moan about allowing a representative or senator to spend 20 years in Lansing, the average length of service in states with and without term limits has historically been about 10 or 12 years – far below a possible cap of 20 years.

But these are just a sampling of issues that would be examined in a constitutional convention. You can expect everything to be looked at, which is arguably good for Michigan.

It’s simple: Our state is broken. We need real reform, and a constitutional convention would give everyone the opportunity to participate and have their say – not just vested special interests, drawing up ballot proposals in smoke-filled Lansing offices.

 

 

 

 

For the most part, I agree with Republican Michigander’s and Chetly Zarko’s responses (available on RightMichigan), but I’ll lay out my oppositions to a constitutional convention:

 

  • I’ve always been an amendment guy.  There aren’t enough problems in Michigan’s constitution for us to say, “Ditch the whole thing and let’s start over!”  We run the risk of only having to amend say 10% of the constitution to satisfy us to needing to amend 25% of a new constitution.  Why start all over?  Fix what you want to fix,  don’t throw out the whole document because of a few problems.
  • It’s costly:
    • Special election for delegates (The Democrats complained about recall elections, you think they’ll support this?  And too many Republicans oppose this already, that the added costs of simply the election will turn more off).
    • The convention itself – space and staff.
  • The liberals have more money than the conservatives, and like I said before, holding a convention would increase the chances that conservatives lose in a new convention.  We could come out of a convention with a constitution that needs more amendments than the current one does.  I simply see this as a long, draw-out ideological fight.  I’d rather vote Yea or Nay on 1 issue at a time, than compromise my views on 1 issue because I like the constitution overall, but have problems with it in other parts.  Amendments are the easiest way to fix things.  When you try to fix too many things at one time, more things become broken rather than get fixed.

I know I am going to take some heat for this next comment: I also question Lennox’s motives here.  About half of his article (I know it’s the wrong word) talks about his ideas for how to fix the constitution, not why we need a convention.  If you ask me, it sounds more like a Dennis Lennox for Constitutional Convention Delegate campaign ad than an argument for a convention.  And why bring this up now?  You said in the article that you thought a convention was needed back when the mock legislature voted on it.  I’m not saying I know this for sure, but this just seems like Dennis wants to run for something now that his campaign for State House is over.

But all of what Dennis said isn’t bad.  I like his stance on lengthening term limits, but I’d rather just do away with them instead of extending them.  I’ve never been a fan of legislative term limits, but I don’t think we need a convention for that – a simple amendment would do.

So, for now, I just say wait until it comes up on the ballot in 2010, and I’m pretty sure I’ll vote it down then as well (unless a lot of crazy stuff happens in 2 years – and  with Michigan, you never know).

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Hillary Clinton: “I will be making no decisions tonight” on Quitting the Race

June 4, 2008

So, I’ve already analyzed Obama’s speech which was given shortly after Clinton’s following speech.  She had been expected to suspend her campaign and acknowledge that Obama had reached the “magic number,” but not actually concede, but she didn’t even do that.  She just said, “I’ll talk it over and decide later” essentially.  Here’s the speech:

Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you all so much. Thank you, and thanks so much to South Dakota. You had the last word in this primary season, and it was worth the wait.

Actually, Montana did because they voted later, but I won’t nit pick.

I want to start tonight by congratulating Senator Obama and his supporters on the extraordinary race that they have run.

Senator Obama has inspired so many Americans to care about politics and empowered so many more to get involved. And our party and our democracy is stronger and more vibrant as a result. So we are grateful.

Your party may be stronger because of him, but it’s a whole lot weaker because of you.

And it has been an honor to contest these primaries with him, just as it is an honor to call him my friend. And, tonight, I would like all of us to take a moment to recognize him and his supporters for all they have accomplished.

You mean winning the primary series?

Now, 16 months ago, you and I began a journey to make history and to remake America. And from the hills of New Hampshire to the hollows of West Virginia and Kentucky, from the fields of California to the factories of Ohio, from the Alleghenies to the Ozarks to the Everglades, to right here in the great state of New York, we…

We saw millions of Americans registering to vote for the first time, raising money for the first time, knocking on doors, making calls, talking to their friends and neighbors, mothers and fathers lifting their little girls and their little boys onto their shoulders and whispering, “See, you can be anything you want to be.”

OK, I have to point out – most of those newly registered voters were because of Obama.

And I think, too, of all those…

all those wonderful women in their 90s who came out to see me, because they were born before women could vote, and they wanted to be part of making history, and the people who drove for miles, who waved their handmade signs, who went to all the events that we held, who came to HillaryClinton.com and showed the tangible support that they felt in their hearts.

And I am just enormously grateful, because, in the millions of question: Who will be the strongest candidate and the strongest…

Who will be ready to take back the White House and take charge as commander-in-chief and lead our country to better tomorrows?

BILLARY WILL!  Oh, what’s that?  You’re NOT going to let Bill sleep in the White House?  Just Hillary?  Not Billary!

People in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the territories, all had a chance to make your voices heard. And on election day after election day, you came out in record numbers to cast your ballots. Nearly 18 million of you cast your votes…

… for our campaign, carrying the popular vote with more votes than any primary candidate in history.

OK, well when’s the last time that a campaign season lasted this long?

Even when the pundits and the naysayers proclaimed week after week that this race was over, you kept on voting. You’re the nurse on the second shift, the worker on the line, the waitress on her feet, the small business owner, the farmer, the teacher, the miner, the trucker, the soldier, the veteran, the student, the hard-working men and women who don’t always make the headlines, but have always written America’s story.

Well, those naysayers and pundits were… RIGHT.

You have voted because you wanted to take back the White House. And because of you…

… we won, together, the swing states necessary to get to 270 electoral votes.

OK, you’re not the nominee.  You know this right?  Could somebody tell the lady in the pants suit that she LOST!?

And you know…

Yes, she will! Yes, she will! Yes, she will! Yes, she will! Yes, she will! Yes, she will!

In all of the states, you voted because you wanted a leader who will stand up for the deepest values of our party, a party that believes everyone should have a fair shot at the American dream, a party that cherishes every child, values every family, and counts every single vote.

And what, the Republicans don’t count every single vote?

I often felt that each of your votes was a prayer for our nation, a declaration of your dreams for your children, a reflection of your desire to chart a new course in this new century. And, in the end, while this primary was long, I am so proud we stayed the course together.

That would be one sacrilegious prayer.

Because we stood our ground, it meant that every single United States citizen had a chance to make his or her voice heard. A record 35 million people voted in this primary…

And that’s good – I AM happy that we had such great voter turnout.

… from every state, red, blue, purple, people of every age, faith, color, and walk of life. And we have brought so many people into the Democratic Party and created enthusiasm among those we seek to serve.

But we’ll see how many actually stay.

And I am committed to uniting our party so we move forward stronger and more ready than ever to take back the White House this November.

You know, for the past seven years, so many people in this country have felt invisible, like your president didn’t even really see you. I have seen the shuttered factories, the jobs shipped overseas, the families struggling to afford gas and groceries.

But I’ve also seen unions re-training workers to build energy- efficient buildings, innovators designing cars that run on fuel cells and biofuels and electricity, cars that get more miles per gallon than ever before, cars that will cut the cost of driving, reduce our reliance on foreign oil, and fight global warming.

And McCain advocates for the same things, just not with the greedy unions going on strike whenever they want a new candy bar machine in the lounge.

I have met too many people without health care, just a diagnosis away from financial ruin. But I’ve also seen the scientists and researchers solving the medical mysteries and finding the treatments and cures that are transforming lives.

Again - McCain has a GREAT health care plan that would allow people to cross state lines to get insurance.

I’ve seen the struggling schools with the crumbling classrooms and the unfair burdens imposed by No Child Left Behind. But I have also met dedicated and caring teachers who use their own savings to buy supplies and students passionately engaged in the issues of our time, from ending the genocide in Darfur to once again making the environment a central issue of our day.

Nobody likes No Child Left Behind – it was a great idea with TERRIBLE implimentation.

None of you, none of you is invisible to me. You never have been.

I see you, and I know how hard-working you are. I’ve been fighting for you my whole adult life, and I will keep standing for you and working for you every single day.

Because in your courage and character, your energy and ingenuity, your compassion and faith, I see the promise of America every day. The challenges we face are great, but our determination is greater.

You know, I understand that that a lot of people are asking, “What does Hillary want? What does she want?”

Well, I want what I have always fought for in this whole campaign. I want to end the war in Iraq.

We ALL want to end it!  It’s not like McCain or Bush enjoy our troops being over there.

I want to turn this economy around. I want health care for every American. I want every child to live up to his or her God-given potential. And I want the nearly 18 million Americans who voted for me to be respected, to be heard, and no longer to be invisible.

Well, going on campaigning and splitting the party certainly isn’t going to help make them be heard.

You see, I have an old-fashioned notion, one that’s been the basis of my candidacy and my life’s work, that public service is about helping people solve their problems and live their own dreams. This nation has given me every opportunity, and that’s what I want for every single American.

That’s why I want universal health care. It is wrong…

… that Americans pay 50 percent more for health care than the people of any other wealthy nation, with costs doubling this decade, and nearly 50 million people without any health insurance at all.

So use McCain’s plan, which encourages competition.  And when companies compete, the consumer wins!

It is wrong for parents to have to choose between care for themselves or their children, to be stuck in dead-end jobs just to keep their insurance, or to give up working altogether so their kids will qualify for Medicaid.

I’ve been working on this issue not just for the past 16 months, but for 16 years. And it is a fight…

It is a fight I will continue until every single American has health insurance, no exceptions and no excuses.

I want an economy that works for all families. That’s why I’ve been fighting to create millions of new jobs in clean energy and rebuilding our infrastructure, jobs to come to all of our states, and urban and rural areas, and suburban communities and small towns.

And McCain is an advocate for clean energy and clean energy jobs too.

And that’s why I sounded the alarm on the home mortgage crisis well over a year ago…

And the way you solve it is by an economic stimulus plan that rewards people for making stupid financial decisions!?

… because these are the issues that will determine whether we will once again grow together as a nation or continue to grow apart.

And I want to restore America’s leadership in the world. I want us to be led once again by the power of our values, to have a foreign policy that is both strong and smart, to join with our allies and confront our shared challenges, from poverty and genocide to global terrorism and global warming.

These are the issues that brought me into this race. They are the lifeblood of my campaign. And they have been and will continue to be the causes of my life. And your spirit…

… your spirit has inspired me every day in this race. While I traveled our country, talking about how I wanted to help you, time and again you reached out to help me, to grab my hand or grip my arm, to look into my eyes and tell me, “Don’t quit. Keep fighting. Stay in this race.”

Now, there were days…

… when I had the strength — there were the days when I had the strength enough to fight for all of us. And on the days that I didn’t, I leaned on you, the soldier on his third tour of duty in Iraq who told his wife, an Iraqi veteran herself, to take his spending money and donate it to our campaign instead…

Well, that was some wasted money.

… the 11-year-old boy in Kentucky, who sold his bike and video games to raise money for our campaign, the woman who came to a rally hours early, waited and waited to give me a rosary, and all those who whispered to me, simply to say, “I am praying for you.”

So many people said this race was over five months ago in Iowa, but we had faith in each other. And you brought me back in New Hampshire, and on Super Tuesday, and in Ohio, and in Pennsylvania, and Texas, and Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, Puerto Rico, and South Dakota.

I will carry your stories and your dreams with me every day for the rest of my life.

Now, the question is: Where do we go from here? And given how far we’ve come and where we need to go as a party, it’s a question I don’t take lightly. This has been a long campaign, and I will be making no decisions tonight.

But this has always been your campaign. So, to the 18 million people who voted for me, and to our many other supporters out there of all ages, I want to hear from you. I hope you’ll go to my Web site at HillaryClinton.com and share your thoughts with me and help in any way that you can.

And in the coming days, I’ll be consulting with supporters and party leaders to determine how to move forward with the best interests of our party and our country guiding my way.

This means she’s taking it to the convention floor.

And I want…

I want to conclude tonight by saying, “Thank you.” Thank you to the people across America for welcoming me and my family into your homes and your hearts.

Thanks to all of you in every corner of this country who cast your votes for our campaign. I am honored and humbled by your support and your trust.

Thanks to my staff and volunteers for all those long hours and late nights.

And I thank your families and your loved ones, as well, because your sacrifice was theirs.

And I especially want to thank all of the leadership of my campaign, our chairman, Terry McAuliffe, and everyone who worked so hard.

And, of course, my family, for their incredible love, support, and work, Bill and Chelsea…

… Hugh and Maria, Tony and Megan, Zach and Fiona, and my mother, who turns 89 tomorrow.

And, finally, I want to thank all of the people who had the courage to share your stories with me out on the campaign trail.

Tonight, I am thinking of a woman I met just yesterday in Rapid City, South Dakota. We were outside Tally’s Restaurant. There was a crowd there as I was walking into the restaurant, and she was standing right up against the barrier.

She grabbed my hand, and she said, “What are you going to do to make sure I have health care?” And as she was talking, she began to cry. She told me she works three jobs; she has suffered from seizures since childhood; she hasn’t been able to afford insurance ever since she left her parents’ home.

It is shameful that anyone in this country could tell that story to me.

And whatever path I travel next, I promise I will keep faith with her and with everyone I met across this great and good country.

You know, tonight, we stand just a few miles from the Statue of Liberty and from the site where the Twin Towers fell and where America rose again.

Lady Liberty’s presence and the towers’ absence are a constant reminder that here in America we are resilient, we are courageous, we embrace all of our people, and that, when we face our challenges together, there is no barrier we can’t overcome, no dream we can’t realize, nothing we can’t do if we just start acting like Americans again.

Thank you all very much. God bless you, and God bless America.

So, there you have it – she’s still in it.  And I think she’ll take it to the convention.  I’ve said that she will, and I think this speech confirms it.  Come on Hillary, give McCain the win – I’m to busy to campaign for him, so do it for me!

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Barack Obama: “I will be the Democratic nominee”

June 3, 2008

Well, Barack Obama has given a speech, claiming victory as the Democratic nominee.  Well, I’ve got news Barack, it really “isn’t over until the lady in the pants suit says so.”  Why?  Because the lady has a whole host of hit men who have done some pretty good work before (ok, maybe they did work for her husband, but it’s all in the family).  If I were Barack, I would be VERY careful.  There’s a reason that Clinton didn’t concede tonight, and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Obama doesn’t make it through until the convention, let alone November 4th.

Anyway,  here’s the speech that Obama gave:

Tonight, after fifty-four hard-fought contests, our primary season has finally come to an end.

Sixteen months have passed since we first stood together on the steps of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois. Thousands of miles have been traveled. Millions of voices have been heard. And because of what you said – because you decided that change must come to Washington; because you believed that this year must be different than all the rest; because you chose to listen not to your doubts or your fears but to your greatest hopes and highest aspirations, tonight we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another — a journey that will bring a new and better day to America. Tonight, I can stand before you and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.

Like I said – it’s not over until convention.  Weirder things have happened in politics.

I want to thank every American who stood with us over the course of this campaign – through the good days and the bad; from the snows of Cedar Rapids to the sunshine of Sioux Falls. And tonight I also want to thank the men and woman who took this journey with me as fellow candidates for President.

At this defining moment for our nation, we should be proud that our party put forth one of the most talented, qualified field of individuals ever to run for this office. I have not just competed with them as rivals, I have learned from them as friends, as public servants, and as patriots who love America and are willing to work tirelessly to make this country better. They are leaders of this party, and leaders that America will turn to for years to come.

Aww, that’s cute!

That is particularly true for the candidate who has traveled further on this journey than anyone else. Senator Hillary Clinton has made history in this campaign not just because she’s a woman who has done what no woman has done before, but because she’s a leader who inspires millions of Americans with her strength, her courage, and her commitment to the causes that brought us here tonight.

Don’t kid people – you hate her guts.

We’ve certainly had our differences over the last sixteen months. But as someone who’s shared a stage with her many times, I can tell you that what gets Hillary Clinton up in the morning – even in the face of tough odds – is exactly what sent her and Bill Clinton to sign up for their first campaign in Texas all those years ago; what sent her to work at the Children’s Defense Fund and made her fight for health care as First Lady; what led her to the United States Senate and fueled her barrier-breaking campaign for the presidency – an unyielding desire to improve the lives of ordinary Americans, no matter how difficult the fight may be. And you can rest assured that when we finally win the battle for universal health care in this country, she will be central to that victory. When we transform our energy policy and lift our children out of poverty, it will be because she worked to help make it happen. Our party and our country are better off because of her, and I am a better candidate for having had the honor to compete with Hillary Rodham Clinton.

No, it’s her need for power, not love for the people that got her where she is.

There are those who say that this primary has somehow left us weaker and more divided. Well I say that because of this primary, there are millions of Americans who have cast their ballot for the very first time. There are Independents and Republicans who understand that this election isn’t just about the party in charge of Washington, it’s about the need to change Washington. There are young people, and African-Americans, and Latinos, and women of all ages who have voted in numbers that have broken records and inspired a nation.

OK, so you have more voters – they’re still divided voters when it comes to Democrats.  And since Clinton hasn’t conceded yet, after the math shows that it’s over, unless she does something on the convention floor or swings some of your Superdelegates, your party will CONTINUE to be divided.

All of you chose to support a candidate you believe in deeply. But at the end of the day, we aren’t the reason you came out and waited in lines that stretched block after block to make your voice heard. You didn’t do that because of me or Senator Clinton or anyone else. You did it because you know in your hearts that at this moment – a moment that will define a generation – we cannot afford to keep doing what we’ve been doing. We owe our children a better future. We owe our country a better future. And for all those who dream of that future tonight, I say – let us begin the work together. Let us unite in common effort to chart a new course for America.

Again – I’d disagree.  Most of the new voters came out for either you or Ron Paul.  And you did WAY better than Ron Paul – so most of the new voters came out for you.

In just a few short months, the Republican Party will arrive in St. Paul with a very different agenda. They will come here to nominate John McCain, a man who has served this country heroically. I honor that service, and I respect his many accomplishments, even if he chooses to deny mine. My differences with him are not personal; they are with the policies he has proposed in this campaign.

Thank you for acknowledging his service – that shows some class that should always shown to our service men, but what accomplishments of yours has he denied?

Because while John McCain can legitimately tout moments of independence from his party in the past, such independence has not been the hallmark of his presidential campaign.

Well, that’s because he’s OUR nominee – and our party is generally right and yours is wrong.  Of course, when he switches sides, he’s often on the wrong side, but he’s my nominee, so I’m going to vote for him.  He’s a heck of a lot better than you.

It’s not change when John McCain decided to stand with George Bush ninety-five percent of the time, as he did in the Senate last year.

Um, you’re the one who’s all about change, not McCain.

It’s not change when he offers four more years of Bush economic policies that have failed to create well-paying jobs, or insure our workers, or help Americans afford the skyrocketing cost of college – policies that have lowered the real incomes of the average American family, widened the gap between Wall Street and Main Street, and left our children with a mountain of debt.

He has a GREAT plan to get people insured, which is nothing like what Bush has done.  I really like his plan to allow people to cross state lines to get insurance.  And who cares what the gap is between rich and poor – the important thing is helping the poor richer.  The gap doesn’t matter.  That’s what’s wrong with  Democrats.  They care too much about catching up to the rich instead of being able  to just care for themselves.

And it’s not change when he promises to continue a policy in Iraq that asks everything of our brave men and women in uniform and nothing of Iraqi politicians – a policy where all we look for are reasons to stay in Iraq, while we spend billions of dollars a month on a war that isn’t making the American people any safer.

OK – I’ll give you some on his one.  We need to embrace Chuck Hagel’s plan, and make sure the Iraqis actually become independent and can function on their own.

So I’ll say this – there are many words to describe John McCain’s attempt to pass off his embrace of George Bush’s policies as bipartisan and new. But change is not one of them.

Change is a foreign policy that doesn’t begin and end with a war that should’ve never been authorized and never been waged. I won’t stand here and pretend that there are many good options left in Iraq, but what’s not an option is leaving our troops in that country for the next hundred years – especially at a time when our military is overstretched, our nation is isolated, and nearly every other threat to America is being ignored.

OK, I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again (obviously Barack doesn’t read my blog).  The time we spend there doesn’t matter – the amount of troops does.  We still have people in Korea, and nobody seems to care, that’s because we have a VERY small amount.

We must be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in – but start leaving we must. [What, did Yoda write the speech?] It’s time for Iraqis to take responsibility for their future. It’s time to rebuild our military and give our veterans the care they need and the benefits they deserve when they come home. It’s time to refocus our efforts on al Qaeda’s leadership and Afghanistan, and rally the world against the common threats of the 21st century – terrorism and nuclear weapons; climate change and poverty; genocide and disease. That’s what change is.

Change is realizing that meeting today’s threats requires not just our firepower, but the power of our diplomacy – tough, direct diplomacy where the President of the United States isn’t afraid to let any petty dictator know where America stands and what we stand for. We must once again have the courage and conviction to lead the free world. That is the legacy of Roosevelt, and Truman, and Kennedy. That’s what the American people want. That’s what change is.

OK, but you DO have to understand that diplomacy won’t always work.

Change is building an economy that rewards not just wealth, but the work and workers who created it. It’s understanding that the struggles facing working families can’t be solved by spending billions of dollars on more tax breaks for big corporations and wealthy CEOs, but by giving a the middle-class a tax break, and investing in our crumbling infrastructure, and transforming how we use energy, and improving our schools, and renewing our commitment to science and innovation. It’s understanding that fiscal responsibility and shared prosperity can go hand-in-hand, as they did when Bill Clinton was President.

McCain HAS a plan to give the middle class a tax break.  And McCain also has plans to use alternative (cheaper) energy – such as nuclear energy.

John McCain has spent a lot of time talking about trips to Iraq in the last few weeks, but maybe if he spent some time taking trips to the cities and towns that have been hardest hit by this economy – cities in Michigan, and Ohio, and right here in Minnesota – he’d understand the kind of change that people are looking for.

HAHAHAHAHA AHAHAHA HAAAAHAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAA!!  Whoa boy – that’s funny.  You’re lecturing McCain about not visiting cities in Michigan.  You’ve visited my state what, 4 or 5 times?  I can handle your misspeakings, but this is just hypocritical bull crap.

Maybe if he went to Iowa and met the student who works the night shift after a full day of class and still can’t pay the medical bills for a sister who’s ill, he’d understand that she can’t afford four more years of a health care plan that only takes care of the healthy and wealthy. She needs us to pass health care plan that guarantees insurance to every American who wants it and brings down premiums for every family who needs it. That’s the change we need.

And McCain HAS a plan to do that.

Maybe if he went to Pennsylvania and met the man who lost his job but can’t even afford the gas to drive around and look for a new one, he’d understand that we can’t afford four more years of our addiction to oil from dictators. That man needs us to pass an energy policy that works with automakers to raise fuel standards, and makes corporations pay for their pollution, and oil companies invest their record profits in a clean energy future – an energy policy that will create millions of new jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced. That’s the change we need.

Um, no – we don’t need to make cars that run more efficiently on OIL.  We NEED to do like John McCain and advocate for different energy, such as nuclear and fuel cells.  We need to get off oil, not make it more efficient.

And maybe if he spent some time in the schools of South Carolina or St. Paul or where he spoke tonight in New Orleans, he’d understand that we can’t afford to leave the money behind for No Child Left Behind; that we owe it to our children to invest in early childhood education; to recruit an army of new teachers and give them better pay and more support; to finally decide that in this global economy, the chance to get a college education should not be a privilege for the wealthy few, but the birthright of every American. That’s the change we need in America. That’s why I’m running for President.

Again – college should NOT be a birthright.  Why does everybody need to go to college?  College is SO overrated because of social norms now.  Plumbers, mechanics, carpenters, etc… don’t need to go to college.  Go to trade school and get out in the workforce.  Sure, doctors are more prestigious, but we need plumbers too!  If we send everybody to college, we have a bunch of white collar workers, and nobody to fill blue collar jobs, so we ship MORE jobs overseas.

The other side will come here in September and offer a very different set of policies and positions, and that is a debate I look forward to. It is a debate the American people deserve. But what you don’t deserve is another election that’s governed by fear, and innuendo, and division. What you won’t hear from this campaign or this party is the kind of politics that uses religion as a wedge, and patriotism as a bludgeon – that sees our opponents not as competitors to challenge, but enemies to demonize. Because we may call ourselves Democrats and Republicans, but we are Americans first. We are always Americans first.

I believe it was YOU who made religion a wedge with your comments in Pennsylvania.

Despite what the good Senator from Arizona said tonight, I have seen people of differing views and opinions find common cause many times during my two decades in public life, and I have brought many together myself. I’ve walked arm-in-arm with community leaders on the South Side of Chicago and watched tensions fade as black, white, and Latino fought together for good jobs and good schools. I’ve sat across the table from law enforcement and civil rights advocates to reform a criminal justice system that sent thirteen innocent people to death row. And I’ve worked with friends in the other party to provide more children with health insurance and more working families with a tax break; to curb the spread of nuclear weapons and ensure that the American people know where their tax dollars are being spent; and to reduce the influence of lobbyists who have all too often set the agenda in Washington.

In our country, I have found that this cooperation happens not because we agree on everything, but because behind all the labels and false divisions and categories that define us; beyond all the petty bickering and point-scoring in Washington, Americans are a decent, generous, compassionate people, united by common challenges and common hopes. And every so often, there are moments which call on that fundamental goodness to make this country great again.

So it was for that band of patriots who declared in a Philadelphia hall the formation of a more perfect union; and for all those who gave on the fields of Gettysburg and Antietam their last full measure of devotion to save that same union.

So it was for the Greatest Generation that conquered fear itself, and liberated a continent from tyranny, and made this country home to untold opportunity and prosperity.

So it was for the workers who stood out on the picket lines; the women who shattered glass ceilings; the children who braved a Selma bridge for freedom’s cause.

So it has been for every generation that faced down the greatest challenges and the most improbable odds to leave their children a world that’s better, and kinder, and more just.

And so it must be for us.

America, this is our moment. This is our time. Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past. Our time to bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face. Our time to offer a new direction for the country we love.

The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth. This was the moment – this was the time – when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves, and our highest ideals. Thank you, God Bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

OK, so that was Barack Obama’s speech that he gave earlier tonight.

He claims he’s the nominee – but really – I think Clinton will take it to the convention where some weird things will happen, but then Obama will prevail.  If Obama’s smart, he WON’T pick her as his VP, but who knows.  He may want to “unify the party,” but Clinton can’t unify anything from the Democratic party, the nation, or even her marriage (admit it, Hill – it’s a sham).

Hello, President John Sydney McCain III

OK, I’ll be looking at Clinton’s speech next.

Done  Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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South Dakota Primary Results for 10:30 P.M.: Clinton & McCain Win

June 3, 2008

Here are the results as of 10:30 P.M. for the  South Dakota primary:

Democrats, with 61% reporting:

  1. Clinton 35,898 56% 8 delegates
  2. Obama 28,577 44% 5delegates

Republicans with 60% reporting:

  1. McCain 27,409 72%
  2. Paul 5.641 15%
  3. Huckabee 2,842 7%
  4. Uncommitted 1,135 3%

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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South Dakota Primary Results for 9:30 P.M.: Clinton & McCain Win

June 3, 2008

Here are the results as of 9:30 P.M. for the  South Dakota primary:

Democrats, with 23% reporting:

  1. Clinton 14,917 56% 8 delegates
  2. Obama 11,664 44% 5delegates

I am prepared to call it for Clinton.  She is leading key areas of the state, and based on the exit polls, I think she will continue with the lead she has.

Republicans with 22% reporting:

  1. McCain 8,781 71%
  2. Paul 1,898 15%
  3. Huckabee 997 8%
  4. Uncommitted 378 3%

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Montana, South Dakota, and New Mexico June 3rd Primary Predictions: Clinton, Obama, and McCain to Win

June 2, 2008

First, I’d like to apologize to the Idaho Republicans.  While in the midst of a house crisis, I completely forgot about your primary, and  for that, I am sorry.  Yours was the only primary/caucus that I did not post a prediction for.

Now, on to the June 3rd primaries…

South Dakota:

Democrats:

  1. Clinton 53% 8 delegates
  2. Obama 46% 7 delegates
  3. Uncommitted 1%

Republicans:

  1. McCain 80% 24 delegates
  2. Paul 12%
  3. Huckabee 4%
  4. Romney 2%
  5. Uncommitted 1%

Montana (Democrats only):

  1. Obama 56% 10 delegates
  2. Clinton 43% 6 delegates
  3. Uncommitted 1%

New Mexico (Republicans only):

  1. McCain 87% 29 delegates
  2. Paul 13%

I may or may not be available to live blog the event, but I will post if anybody does reach the delegate count needed to win (Obama has been trying to get pledged delegates for “The Flood” tomorrow – where supposedly 30 Superdelegates will hopefully come out for him and give him the unofficial win).

Done Predicting,

Ranting Republican
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Prediction for the Puerto Rico Democratic Primary: Clinton to Win

June 1, 2008

I guess I didn’t realize that the date for the primary (formerly a caucus) had been moved up, so I didn’t post this last night, and just realized my mistake.

Here’s my prediction:

  1. Clinton 64% 37 delegates
  2. Obama 33% 18 delegates
  3. Uncommitted 3%

I’ll post the results when they come out.

Done Predicting,

Ranting Republican
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