Archive for the ‘Superdelegates’ Category

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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John Edwards: “The math is very, very hard” for Hillary Clinton

May 11, 2008

This morning, John Edwards appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer.  Here’s a transcript of the show:

SCHIEFFER: And good morning again. Barack Obama now leads in the number of delegates. He’s overtaken Hillary Clinton in the number of superdelegates, and now he has the largest percentage of the popular vote. So when we spoke with former Democratic candidate John Edwards late yesterday, we asked if he saw any way for Senator Clinton to get the nomination now.

Mr. JOHN EDWARDS (Former Democratic Presidential Candidate; Democrat, North Carolina): I think it’s very hard, Bob. I mean, I think, actually, as I’ve been watching her campaign the last few weeks, I think she’s become a stronger and stronger candidate. She’s been making a pretty compelling case for her candidacy. The problem is, I think you can no longer make a compelling case for the math. The math is very, very hard for her.

Well, of course she made a compelling case.  She pulled all the guns out.  She played every card she had, and it made Obama look terrible.  But she still didn’t have enough time to come back and win.  Take the analogy of a fighter plane and a ship.  She kept firing more at the ship as she tried to pull up, and although she may miss the boat and not kill it now (letting Obama be the nominee), she’ll still crash in the water, and all the damage she did to the boat (Obama) will sink it eventually (he’ll lose against McCain).

SCHIEFFER: Well, you ended your campaign because you said it was–it was simply not going to be possible for you to get the nomination, and you felt it was better to end the process sooner rather than later. I remember you said that you were–you didn’t–you did not think it was being helpful to the party. Are you ready to give her that advice?

Mr. EDWARDS: It’s a hard judgment to make, Bob. You know, in my case, I–basically, there were two things going on. One was I had concluded I could stay in the race, keep getting significant number of votes, keep accumulating delegates, but the overwhelming likelihood was I would not be the nominee. And I also believe that if I got out of the race, it would accelerate the process of one person pulling away. Well, I was obviously dead wrong about that. I think it’s a judgment that she has to make, and I think she’s in a very, very tough place.

Translation: Yes.  I helped the party, she should too.

SCHIEFFER: It does seem that she has taken this campaign–and there’s no way else to put it—no way else–other way to put it–than to kind of a different place, suggesting that she is the candidate of white people, hard-working white people, I think was the phrase she used. Here’s the sound bite that everybody’s talking about.

Senator HILLARY CLINTON: (From audiotape) There was just an AP article posted that found how Senator Obama’s support among working–hard-working Americans, white Americans is weakening again, and how the, you know, whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me.

SCHIEFFER: Do you find it interesting, senator, that she did not make that argument before the North Carolina primary, where you had a large African-American vote, but now she seems to be making it? And isn’t she really arguing that white people won’t vote for Barack Obama?

Mr. EDWARDS: You know, I think what’s going on, Bob, is she’s in a very tough, very competitive race that’s been going on a long, long time and, you know, she didn’t probably–I’m sure she feels like she didn’t choose her words very well there. And I think the difficult place that she’s in, is she’s not just in a tough race now. And I have to tell you, I’m different than a lot of people. I actually admire some of the strength and fortitude that she’s shown. I know how hard it is to get up and go out there every day, speak to the media, speak to crowds, when people are urging you to get out of the race. I mean, it’s a very hard place to be in. But she’s shown a lot of strength about that. But I think the one thing that she has to be careful about–and she doesn’t need my advice, she knows this full well–is she has to be careful about, going forward, is that if she makes the case for herself, which she’s entitled–completely entitled to do, she has to be really careful that she’s not damaging our prospects–the Democratic Party and our cause–for the fall.

Everybody slips up and misspeaks.  But opponents will still use that against you, and the Democrats will use McCain’s slip-ups against him, so it’s not really an excuse.

SCHIEFFER: Well, do you think she has?

Mr. EDWARDS: Well, no more than there being a tough, competitive race that’s gone on a long time. What I think is, at the end of the day, when this is over–and I think it is likely, certainly at this point, that Senator Obama will be the nominee–that the Democrats will unite, we’ll all be behind our nominee and we’ll be out there campaigning our hearts out. And if Senator Clinton doesn’t get the nomination, I am absolutely certain that she and President Clinton will be out there campaigning for Senator Obama.

He didn’t answer the question.  Translation: Yes.  She screwed us over, and now we’ll lose.

SCHIEFFER: You sort of danced around the question when you were on some of the morning shows on Friday about whether or not you’re ready to endorse anybody. I’m not going to try to keep on with this. Are you going to endorse anybody at this point?

Mr. EDWARDS: I might. I don’t think it’s a big deal, to be honest with you. I think voters are the ones who are speaking in this process. My feeling all along, in addition to what we talked about earlier and me getting out earlier, I hoped would accelerate us having an earlier nominee. But my feeling is also that I think that my endorsement or anybody else’s endorsement has not particularly helped with the divide. And I think that actually endorsements sometimes make the divide worse. And what’s important here is not me or who I’m for or who I’d vote for or who I support. What’s important is that we get united as a party behind our nominee, that we’re successful in November. Because the people that I care the most about, you know, the lowincome families in this country, working families, people who are having a hard time, those men and women who are putting their lives on the line in Iraq, they’re the ones that matter in this, not some particular candidate or some strategic position that somebody’s taken.

Oh, Mr. Edwards, it’s a VERY big deal.  Whoever you endorse will get most of your delegates.  And if that’s Clinton, she’s back in this.

SCHIEFFER: You this week are launching a plan to cut poverty in half. That is your–is your goal within the next 10 years. Among the things you’re going to try to do is increase child care, you want to extend income tax credits, you want more unemployment insurance, you want to raise the minimum wage. Have you been able to get any of the candidates to sign on to this plan that you plan to launch this week?

Mr. EDWARDS: Yeah. Actually, as a matter of fact, I’ve been–that’s been one of the most encouraging things that’s happened. When I–at the time I got out of the race, I spoke to Senator Clinton and Senator Obama. I did not speak to Senator McCain at that point. But both of them committed to do a number of things to make poverty central to the campaign, both in the nomination and also in the general election; and also to make ending poverty in America central to their presidency. I’ve had a number of conversations with each of them since that time. They reinforced that position. I believe they believe it. By the way, I don’t know that they need to be pushed by me. Obviously, this is a central cause in my life. But the two of them care deeply about this, independent of me, and I think that they are committed to the cause. And as to John McCain, I actually spoke to Senator McCain on April the 4th, the anniversary of Dr. King’s death, and because Martin Luther–Martin Luther III asked me to speak to him about possibly having a Cabinet-level position to fight poverty in this country, and I got a very positive response. He didn’t commit to the Cabinet-level position, but he did commit to doing something about this cause. So I actually feel pretty encouraged about this.

Limit frivolous lawsuits – that’d cut down on poverty!  But that’d also put you out of a job.

SCHIEFFER: Well, it’s certainly a worthy goal. But how much would something like this, what you’re talking about, cost, senator?

Mr. EDWARDS: Well, some of the things don’t cost anything and some of them do have costs associated with them. I mean, raising the minimum wage, which is one of the things that we talked about doing both at the state and national level, does–certainly doesn’t have any direct costs. And in fact–in fact, in places where the minimum wage has been raised, I think most studies show that the economy has improved in those places. And I would add to that, Bob—and it depends on, in answer to your question specifically, is it depends on how much you expand the earned income tax credit, which is what you just spoke about.

SCHIEFFER: Mm-hmm.

Mr. EDWARDS: How much we expand the availability of child care. You know, there are gradations in how much of this we do. But I would say, and I think this is an important thing for the country, that if we care about middle-class families, working families in this country, and having sustainable, long-term economic growth, that when–in American history, when we have been lifting millions of Americans out of poverty and putting them in the middle class and broadening that middle class and strengthening the middle class, that’s when we–when we’ve been able to sustain long-term economic growth. And there’s absolutely no reason to believe that’s not true now. I think it is.

SCHIEFFER: All right. Well, senator, it’s nice to have you back on television again, back to–nice to have you on FACE THE NATION. Hope we’ll see you another time down the trail. Thank you.

Mr. EDWARDS: Thanks so much for having me.

SCHIEFFER: And we’ll be back in one minute with Senator Clinton’s campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe.

So, it was a pretty standard interview for John Edwards.  Subtly hinting that Clinton should quit, and not endorsing anybody.

I don’t think he ever will endorse anybody, at least not before we’re 99.99% sure who will win.  If he does endorse somebody, it could give them the win, and that would further divide the party and make people angry against Edwards in the future (2016 election!!!).

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Howard Dean: “We’ll Know Who Our Nominee Is” by the “End of June”

April 28, 2008

Today, Democratic National Committee Chairman and former Vermont Governor Howard Dean appeared on MSNBC’s Today Show, where he was interviewed by Meredith Vieira.  He discussed the current situation between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as well as what role the Superdelegates will play in the nomination process.  The following is a video of the interview, and I have typed a transcript below it:

 

Meredith Vieira: Howard Dean is the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and former Governor of the State of Vermont.  Doctor Dean, good morning to you.

Dean: Thanks for having me on.

Meredith: Thanks for being here.  You just heard that Reverend Wright is making headlines again.  How much does he complicate your efforts to eventually bring this party together?

Dean: Well, you know, I—I’ve made it a point not to comment on either of the campaigns, so I’m not gonna comment on Reverend Wright, which is all about—in this campaign.  My focus is John McCain.  Uh—John McCain wants to stay in Iraq for 100 years.  He thinks the economy is the problem of the mortgage holders, and not the mortgage lenders.  Uh—he thinks that we ought not to have health care for our kids.  Uh—there’s a big difference between both Hillary—Clinton and Barack Obama.  On the one hand and John McCain on the other, so I—I’m not gonna get into the Obama versus Clinton stuff.

Meredith: But race has certainly become a key element in—in this campaign, on both sides.  You can’t ignore that.

Dean: I—I’m not totally convinced that it is a key element, uh—[unintelligible].  I think that people make up their minds on a variety of issues and I think they’ll continue to do that.  But again, I—there’s a big—the biggest difference on this campaign is not between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.  It’s between John McCain, who’s a candidate of the past, a candidate that offers us four more of George Bush—uh—and either of our two candidates, who are really gonna be agents of change.

Meredith: But first you have to have somebody nominated, and you’re hoping to see this nomination wrapped up by June.  How optimistic are you that that will happen?

Dean: I think it will happen.  Um—I think—we—we got nine more primaries.  I think we’re gonna get through those.  Uh—we’ve got two really big ones coming up a week from tomorrow.  Uh—and then—uh—the—there’s 500 of the 800 unpledged delegates have already said who they’re for.  I think the remaining 300 will do that by the end of June and we’ll know who our nominee is, and that’s what we need to do.

Meredith: But if you listen to Senators Clinton and Obama over the past few days, they’ve been arguing over what criteria the Superdelegates should use to make their selection, and Clinton is suggesting that it’s the person who has the most votes, popular votes, and she has those if you count Michigan and Florida.  Barack Obama is saying, “No, no, no, it’s the person who has the most pledged delegates.”  But if I understand the rules right, the Superdelegates don’t have to abide by any of those criteria.

Dean: Uh—the—the rules say that the delegates can vote their conscience, and they—they’re Superdelegates—and they will vote their conscience.  Most of the time, and in fact, all of the time in my personal experience, they have voted for the person with the most pledged delegates, but there’s—that’s not in the rules, and they can do—I—I think what they’re gonna do is vote for the person they think can beat John McCain.  Look, we’ve just got a new ad out on the—on McCain’s position on the war.  It’s so far away from where Americans want to be, that I just can’t imagine how they’re gonna elect John McCain.  The only way that John McCain wins this race is if Democrats are not united.  We need to be united in order to win.  We need a new direction for this country, and again, John McCain offers the—the past.

Meredith: But right now you are not united, sir, that’s very clear.

Dean: Well, we’ve got a race going on, and as soon as we finish that race, we’ll be united.

Meredith: But what—what—you—you talked about the Superdelegates following the will of the pledged delegates.  If they don’t do that this time, and as you said, they don’t have to, there is the possibility of a perception that the race was stolen.  How do you ensure that it was not, to the person who loses?  How do you ensure that it was fair?

Dean: That’s exactly what I’m doing.  I stand up for what the rules of the party are.  You may or may not like the rules, but both candidates knew what the rules were when we started—uh—they both have campaigns among pledged and unpledged delegates, and my job is to uphold the rules—without fear or favor of any candidates.  Look, somebody’s gonna lose this race with 49% of the delegates.  We can’t win the Presidency without those 49% that represent the candidate that doesn’t win.  And so, I need to make sure that whoever loses feels that they’ve been treated fairly and respectfully, and that’s what my—that’s my job and that’s what I’m gonna do.

Meredith: Have you spoken to the two candidates, taken them aside, and said, “Look [unintelligible] if you lose, I expect you to go out there and campaign vigorously,” for the other one?

Dean: I don’t think I need to do that.  Look, when I lost to John Kerry, I didn’t need to be told that this was about something that was greater than—than me, this was about the country.  And I worked very hard for John Kerry, and it took me about three months to get my folks to change their position and not support me, but support John Kerry for the Presidency, because it was about what was good for America, and I think either of these candidates are experienced public servants and they know, without being told by me or anybody else, that their obligation is to their country, and I think that they will do that very thing.  As soon as they know that they aren’t gonna win, they’re gonna support the other candidate.

Meredith: Alright, Howard Dean, thank you very much.

Dean: Thank you.

Now, let’s look at some parts of Dean’s interview.

First, I have to clarify a statement that Dean made:

Uh—John McCain wants to stay in Iraq for 100 years.  He thinks the economy is the problem of the mortgage holders, and not the mortgage lenders.  Uh—he thinks that we ought not to have health care for our kids.

Yeah, that’s blatantly untrue.  Nowhere has McCain said that he WANTS to spend 100 years in Iraq, but that we should stay there that long if necessary.  He never said that we shouldn’t have health care for kids, but that the government shouldn’t be buying health care plans for them.

Meredith: But race has certainly become a key element in—in this campaign, on both sides.  You can’t ignore that.

Dean: I—I’m not totally convinced that it is a key element, uh—[unintelligible].  I think that people make up their minds on a variety of issues and I think they’ll continue to do that.

Dean, buddy, where’ve you been?  Of course race is a key element – this is America.  It’ll be a key element for another 50-100 years.

Meredith: But first you have to have somebody nominated, and you’re hoping to see this nomination wrapped up by June.  How optimistic are you that that will happen?

Dean: I think it will happen.  Um—I think—we—we got nine more primaries.  I think we’re gonna get through those.  Uh—we’ve got two really big ones coming up a week from tomorrow.  Uh—and then—uh—the—there’s 500 of the 800 unpledged delegates have already said who they’re for.  I think the remaining 300 will do that by the end of June and we’ll know who our nominee is, and that’s what we need to do.

I honestly don’t see Clinton as giving up by then.  If she’s behind, she’ll take it to the convention floor and fight for every last delegate to come over to her side.  The only way she’ll win it is if Florida and Michigan are seated, and Obama wouldn’t allow that, and even if he did, his supporters wouldn’t, and the future of the Democratic party would be bleak at best for the next 20+ years.

Meredith: But what—what—you—you talked about the Superdelegates following the will of the pledged delegates.  If they don’t do that this time, and as you said, they don’t have to, there is the possibility of a perception that the race was stolen.  How do you ensure that it was not, to the person who loses?  How do you ensure that it was fair?

Dean: That’s exactly what I’m doing.  I stand up for what the rules of the party are.  You may or may not like the rules, but both candidates knew what the rules were when we started—uh—they both have campaigns among pledged and unpledged delegates, and my job is to uphold the rules—without fear or favor of any candidates.  Look, somebody’s gonna lose this race with 49% of the delegates.  We can’t win the Presidency without those 49% that represent the candidate that doesn’t win.  And so, I need to make sure that whoever loses feels that they’ve been treated fairly and respectfully, and that’s what my—that’s my job and that’s what I’m gonna do.

Right on.  If the Democrats don’t unite (and they won’t!!!) it pretty much gurantees McCain the win.

Meredith: Have you spoken to the two candidates, taken them aside, and said, “Look [unintelligible] if you lose, I expect you to go out there and campaign vigorously,” for the other one?

Dean: I don’t think I need to do that.  Look, when I lost to John Kerry, I didn’t need to be told that this was about something that was greater than—than me, this was about the country.  And I worked very hard for John Kerry, and it took me about three months to get my folks to change their position and not support me, but support John Kerry for the Presidency, because it was about what was good for America, and I think either of these candidates are experienced public servants and they know, without being told by me or anybody else, that their obligation is to their country, and I think that they will do that very thing.  As soon as they know that they aren’t gonna win, they’re gonna support the other candidate.

But you and Kerry didn’t fight NEARLY as much as Obama and Clinton are.  And you and Kerry didn’t go through all of the primaries before you knew who the nominee was.  The two are VERY different, and althouigh the 2 candidates may APPEAR to get along, they won’t, and Americans will see this.  In addition, the supporters of the loser won’t all go over to the other side, and many of them will stay home, ESPECIALLY if Obama loses.  All those young people who got involved will suddenly become apathetic again.

I honestly wonder if Dean really believes what he’s saying, whether or not he truly believes that everything will work out alright.

Frankly, I don’t see how the Democrats could pull off a win, unless the Republicans and/or McCain screw up big before November (Mark Foley, George Allen, etc…).

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Associated Press Releases Comments from Undecided Superdelegates

April 20, 2008

Today, the Associated Press released comments from 10 Superdelegates who have said that they do not yet know who they’ll cast their vote for at the convention.  Here they are with my analysis of them, comment-by-comment.

“The pitches are surprisingly similar, although the Obama people tout their successes in terms of pledged delegates, states won and popular vote. The Clinton people tout her alleged electability.” — Keith Roark of Idaho [Roark is the Idaho Democratic Party Chairman].

I pretty much agree with this one.  Although, I don’t think that Clinton’s electability is better than Obama’s, and I find it funny that Roark adds the word “alleged” when describing her electability.

“Obama supporters want me to declare right now, Clinton supporters want me to wait. A month ago it was the opposite.” — Wayne Kinney of Oregon.

He’s got a point here.  As soon as Obama reaches the magical number, I think Dean will push for Clinton to drop out.  What Clinton would want to do at that point is try to convince some Obama delegates to vote for her at the convention.  His statement about “A month ago it was the opposite” reminds me a lot about what Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM-Obama) said when discussing his Obama endorsement.

“I just say firmly I am tired of being spun. My advice is go out and win delegates.” — Rep. Rick Larsen of Washington.

Again, this reminds me a lot of what Richardson said when discussing his endorsement.

“I’m going to look at the popular vote, the electoral vote and the number of states that each candidate has won. After that (intelligence), I’m going to look at what the climate is of the party.” — Inola Henry of California.

This one seems like there’s going to be a LOT of factors in making a decision.  It reminds me of a question that Wolf Blitzer asked Howard Dean in his recent interview.

“It’s very important, who has the most delegates. The superdelegates should not be the ones making the decision.” — Linda Chavez-Thompson of Texas [She is the Democratic National Committee Vice-Chair].

She’ll be for Obama then – because I DOUBT Clinton can take the lead without Superdelegate help.

“I’m in a Clinton state. Obama seems to be ahead. I’m not going to move to vote for anybody until Clinton has a chance to do everything that she can do.” — Don Bivens of Arizona [He is the Arizona Democratic Party Chairman].

It sounds like he’s a Clinton supporter, but he doesn’t want to vote for Clinton if it would hurt the party too much.  I think he’ll go for Clinton.

“I think it’s critical that we not be perceived as a group of party elites coming in at the end of the process overturning the will of the people.” — Rep. Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania.

Obama vote.

“The single most important criterion is backing the candidate who represents the will of the people, but we won’t know who that is until the nominating cycle has concluded.” — Ed Espinoza of California.

You’d better vote for Obama then, because if he loses, you’ll lose more voters come November than you will if Clinton loses.

“The party created superdelegates to keep the process on track, moving toward the selection of a nominee who will be a good candidate and a good president. I have a job when the process starts to get off track, and so far it hasn’t.” — Rep. Rush Holt of New Jersey.

Sounds like an Obama vote to me.

“I hope we don’t get to a point where the superdelegates are deciding the election.” _ Rep. Harry Mitchell of Arizona.

I’m not sure if this was included as one of the undecided quotes or not, since it was in italics.  But, according to the Wikipedia list, he’s undecided.  This sounds like another Obama vote to me.

So, there you have it.  A look into the mind of undecided Superdelegates of the Democratic Party (scary, I know).

I still think it’ll be Obama as the nominee, but I’ll keep hoping it’s Clinton.  Keep up the infighting you 2!

Done Quoting,

Ranting Republican
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Howard Dean: Superdelegates “Need to Say Who They’re For”

April 20, 2008

DNC Chairman and former Vermont Governor Howard Dean was interviewed by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Thursday, discussing the Superdelegates and the primary in general.  Here’s a video, with my transcript below:

Blitzer: You have suggested, though, you want this thing resolved before July 1st, long before the Democratic Convention in Denver at the end of August.

Dean: That’s right—um—and that is really—there’s about 65, roughly, percent of the Superdelegates have voted.  There’s about 320 some-odd left to vote.  I need them to say who they’re for starting now.  They really do need to do that.  We cannot give up 2 or 3 months of active campaigning and healing time.

Even DEAN realizes that the party is going to need healing time, after Clinton and Obama keep tearing each other aprt.

We’ve got to know who our nominee is, and there’s reason not to know after the last primary on June 3rd.  So, the Superdelegates have actually been pretty good so far.  They’ve trickled in.  They’ve made their alliances known as things have gone on, and they need to keep doing that so we get all this wrapped up in June.

Blitzer: Should they make their decisions … based on the popular vote, the pledged delegate count, the electoral college [Dean chuckles], states—the most states won, or whatever’s in their gut—who they think’s most electable.

Dean: The rules say they should vote their conscience, and I think that’s pretty good advice.  My job is to enforce the rules.  You can agree with them or not agree with them, but they’re gonna vote their conscience, and I think that’s what they’re called upon to do.

Blitzer: You know, it’s really … to a lot of the pundits, surprising is how well John McCain does in these hypothetical match-ups against either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama in some key states. … Why is John McCain doing as well as he is doing, given the state of the economy, given the unpopularity of the War in Iraq?

Dean: Uh, well, I don’t think John McCain is doing so well. For him, with no opponent and nobody criticizing him and getting much publicity doing so, he’s in the low 40’s.  Our candidates are having a really spirited contest, and they’re in the low 40’s.  When people know John McCain, when they know that he just proposed 8 billion dollars worth of spending, essentially tax cuts, without saying how he’s gonna pay for it, it appears that he’s just another 4 years of George Bush.

He’ll pay for it by vetoing anything with earmarks, like he’s promised.  When you don’t spend 17% of a Democratic-sponsored Iraq appropriations bill on pork, you don’t have a budget problem.

That’s what we got from George Bush—100 years in Iraq.

Like I’ve said, it doesn’t matter how long we’re there, but how MANY of us are there.  We’re still in Korea folks, and it’s been roughly 50 years.  I don’t hear anybody complaining about us not bringing home those troops.

Well, you know, I don’t think people are gonna sign on to that platform.  So, I don’t think—I’ve said for a long time the polls don’t mean anything—right now, in terms of November, and I’ll be consistent and say it again—I’m not worried about the polls.  What I want is a fair process to name a good Democratic nominee, which I’m convinced we’re gonna have, then we’ll see what the polls say when we know who are nominee is.

Blitzer: Well how worried are you though, as the leader of the Democratic Party, that Hillary Clinton’s attacking Barack Obama on a whole host of issues, and vice versa, that they’re chipping away at each other—they’re diminishing each other, potentially to the advantage of John McCain.

Dean: Well, you know—sure, you worry about that some, and I think we should focus on Iraq and—and tax policy and the economy and so forth.  [Unintelligible] have to say the media is a big part of that, as well—they seem to like the attacks more than the substance, but I have to say also, that if you actually listen to what our candidates are saying, the American people are gonna agree with them.  They do not want to continue George Bush’s give everything to the millionaires and gazillionaires tax policies and run up huge deficits.  They do not want to continue the War in Iraq when we need so much help here at home and American jobs are being lost.  They do believe that we oughta join every other democracy in the world and have health care for all our people, which John McCain has voted against and said he doesn’t support.  John McCain is just completely out of step with where the American people are, and I think, in the end, we’re gonna win.  John McCain is just a step backwards and the American people are looking for a step forwards.

He has a good plan that would allow for more healthy competition between companies, instead of shoving the government into the private lives of people like Obama and Clinton want to do.

So, Dean has essentially said what he’s been saying all along, specifically, “Superdelegates, decide ASAP, but definitely by June 3rd.”  And he’s made it clear that he doesn’t think that either candidate should drop out yet (at least that’s his official position).  He doesn’t want a convention fight though (and what Democrat other than Clinton supporters would?).

So, all we Republicans can do is sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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John Kerry: Clinton Should “Be Fighting Against McCain” and “Not be Destructive”

March 30, 2008

Here is an excerpt from ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, which featured Governor Ed Rendell (D-PA-Clinton) and Senator John Kerry (D-MA-Clinton).  The pair discussed health care and the “Clinton Should Quit” Controversy:

Rendell: Well, how come we say who won the popular vote without Florida and Michigan in the race?

Stephanopoulos: Senator Kerry, why not take that challenge?

Kerry: Well, first of all, let me say, George, if you’re going to be campaigning in Pennsylvania, it’s good to have Ed Rendell with you. And I’m glad to be here with him, and I thank him for everything he did for me there. Better to have him with you than against you.

Secondly, let me just say that Hillary Clinton has every right in the world to continue to fight, but the important thing is to be fighting against John McCain and not to be destructive in this campaign, either campaigns.  It is very important for both people to keep the eye on the real target — John McCain and the Republican disaster of the last seven and a half years.  And if the campaign goes on through these next weeks, really focus on that, at a high level.

I don’t think Democrats ought to be clamoring and worried about what’s going on.  I think that this will resolve itself.  Thirdly, I think that the superdelegates ought to decide early.  I would even say earlier than July.  As a former nominee, I will tell you, this time right now is critical to us.  We began four years behind George Bush, and I think every day does give John McCain an ability to organize nationally.  So the sooner we resolve it, the better, but it has to be resolved, obviously, by letting voters have their say.

Now, in the next days, there are 550 delegates still at stake.  There are 10 states that are going to vote.  What is important to remember is that the bar keeps shifting here.  You know, after Iowa, the Clinton campaign said, well, what’s really important are delegates.  After Barack began winning the delegates, they say what’s really important are the primaries.

After he began winning the primaries, they said what’s really important is the popular vote.  Now he’s winning the popular vote, the primaries, the total numbers of caucuses of primaries and the total number of delegates.

So, at some point, there is a moment of judgment.  I don’t think it’s up to our campaign or any individual to tell Hillary Clinton or their campaign when that is.  But there will be, I think, a consensus about it, and I think it’s going to occur over these next weeks.

Stephanopoulos: But just this point of — Governor Rendell is saying Michigan and Florida have to vote again.  Otherwise, you are going to see a floor fight at the convention in the credentials committee.

Kerry: I don’t agree with that.  I mean, that’s a posture today, but I just don’t think that’s going to happen.  The reality is, that has to be resolved by the states and by the national committee.  And you know, the Obama campaign has been very clear about that.

You know, delegates will be seated, George.  There will be a way to work that out.  The real question is, you know, who is going to reach the magic number of delegates that says, you are the nominee.

I believe that number is going to be reached well before the convention.  I think it will be clear what happens well before the convention.  And I would urge fellow superdelegates, they have a responsibility to the Democratic Party and to the country for the larger issues that are at stake.

This is about our leadership in the free world.  It is about an economy that is crumbling around people in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.  And we need to be positioned to win.  The superdelegates should make their decision well before the first of July… … and then we march on to Denver….

Stephanopoulos: Senator Kerry, the Obama campaign has been pushing this issue.  The campaign manager said that Senator Clinton’s not seen as trustworthy by the American people.  Senator Obama himself has said that Senator Clinton has not been truthful in this campaign.  Should they drop this?

Kerry: Well, George, I think, you know, sometimes in campaigns, one thing leads to another.  You know, I wish that what Ed Rendell had just said were in fact being put into practice.  But I recall seeing last week Senator Clinton went to, of all papers, the Pittsburgh Tribune and Richard Mellon Scaife’s paper, and came out and raised the issue of Reverend Wright.

I mean, she did that quite spontaneously.  So, our hope would be, and I think this is what the Obama campaign is pressing for, is look, let’s stick to the real differences.

To me, the most important thing, and the most important thing to Pennsylvanians, it’s very interesting.  I mean, Ed Rendell would agree that, you know, Bobby Casey and what is called Casey country and the long representation of the Casey family of working folks in Pennsylvania. It’s not insignificant that Bob Casey, who didn’t have to do anything, decided to get involved and came out for Barack Obama the other day, because he really believes that he has a better chance of leading the country to the place we need to go.

The reason — what I think is important for people to focus on here is what really is going to make a difference to the governing of our country.  I think Barack Obama brings to the table — and you see it now in the Wall Street Journal poll numbers, where 60 percent of Americans believe Barack Obama has a better chance of uniting the country.  I think Hillary Clinton’s number was less than 40.  Her negatives are now higher than her positives.  It is very difficult to win the presidency when that’s true.

And I think what Democrats need to focus on now is who can galvanize a grassroots movement that holds Washington accountable, a Washington that only in the last days, when the pain reaches Bear Stearns, suddenly says, oh, we’ve got to do something about mortgages or we’ve got to do something about the average person.

That’s the fundamental issue of this campaign, and I think Barack Obama is gaining this support in red states across the country, with red-state governors, because he has the ability to build this grassroots movement and hold Washington accountable….

Rendell: I think that this duo, regardless, is a history-making duo.  They are both tremendous candidates.  They both would make great executives, and I’d love to see that happen.

Stephanopoulos: OK, Rendell has signed on with Cuomo.  Has Kerry?

Kerry: George, let me just pick up on something Ed just said, if I can.  Speaking as somebody who has worked for 24 years, and my colleague Ted Kennedy who’s backing Barack Obama has worked for 40 years to get health care, let me just tell you that Hillary Clinton’s plan in the United States Senate is a non-starter, because it starts with a mandate that is unachievable in the Senate in what we need to do.

Barack Obama starts with children and works up to a system where at the back end, you may have a mandate, you will get to universal coverage.  But he does it in a way that’s going to give Republicans the opportunity to be able to play at the table.

Secondly, the issue here — there are differences on the issues that are important.  The judgment issue with respect to how you make America safer.  Barack Obama gave, I thought, an extraordinarily important speech the other day.   In all this hurlyburly, it doesn’t always get noticed, but he talked about the security gap, and how really the Republicans have pursued a policy that, while they talk about being strong, has made America weaker.  That we are more exposed, that Al Qaida is stronger, Hezbollah is stronger, Hamas is stronger, Iran is stronger.  That is a failed foreign policy.  It is John McCain’s foreign policy.

And the fact is that Barack Obama had the right judgment about Iraq from the beginning.  He has the right judgment now about how you deal with Iran.  He had the right judgment about Pakistan and Afghanistan over a year ago. And very importantly, Hillary Clinton and others criticized him — let me just finish.  Hillary Clinton and others criticized him for saying that you can’t attack somebody in Pakistan if you have actionable intelligence.   A couple of weeks ago, we knocked out the number three Al Qaida operative, and everybody cheered, and we did exactly what Barack Obama said we ought to do, and they criticized him.

Stephanopoulos: Yes or no, would he be making the right judgmentif he asked Senator Clinton to run with him, should they run as oneticket?

Kerry: Well, that’s entirely — whatever judgment he makes will be the right judgment.  That’s the privilege of the nominee, and it’s certainly one of the options available to him, and it would be terrific in a lot of people’s minds.  But you have to leave the nominee that option.

So it’s apparent that this race isn’t going to end anytime soon.  I personally don’t think it will end up until a floor fight on the convention (FUN!), but who knows.

Kerry’s comment of

let me just say that Hillary Clinton has every right in the world to continue to fight, but the important thing is to be fighting against John McCain and not to be destructive in this campaign, either campaigns. It is very important for both people to keep the eye on the real target — John McCain and the Republican disaster of the last seven and a half years. And if the campaign goes on through these next weeks, really focus on that, at a high level.

seemed more like an indictment of Clinton and her campaign than a friendly warning to both Clinton and Obama.

His comment of “I don’t think Democrats ought to be clamoring and worried about what’s going on.  I think that this will resolve itself.” is just naïve in my opinion.  I mean, Obama and Clinton are tearing each other apart so much that McCain isn’t going to have to do any opposition research.

I really don’t see how the Democrats are going around with all this “Everything’s fine and dandy!” talk – they’re tearing the party apart!  Well, keep going on with this naïve attitude up until November, and then good old McCain will have a big surprise for you.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Ed Rendell: “Clinton’s Going to Eat into the Popular Vote”

March 30, 2008

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell (D-PA-Clinton) appeared on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos (along with Senator John Kerry [D-MA-Obama]), and discussed health care and the “Clinton Should Quit” Controversy:

Stephanopoulos: And Governor Rendell, let me begin with you.  Senator Clinton’s answer to Pat Leahy was basically “fat chance.”  In the Washington Post this morning, she vowed to stay in the race to the convention, and she said, “Even if that takes a floor fight at the credentials committee to seat the delegations of Florida and Michigan,” she said, “that’s what credentials committees are for.”  Is that the Clinton path to victory, a floor fight at the convention?

Rendell: Well, hopefully not.  Hopefully, the Obama forces will allow all 10 states that remain on the calendar vote, and allow Florida and Michigan to vote.  It’s a disgrace that the Obama forces say, well, he’s won the popular vote so he should be the nominee.  There are 10 states left.  I think Senator Clinton’s going to eat into
the popular vote.  And I think if Michigan and Florida actually voted again, Senator Clinton would come out on top of the popular vote.  So I think the key is to let the party — it’s too late for the states, but let the party run the primaries in Michigan and Florida.

With Florida, George — if Florida and Michigan voted, based on just the results from the Florida beauty contest, it’s fairly safe to assume that Senator Clinton would win the popular vote, and that would undercut the whole theme of the Obama campaign, is superdelegates, you have to vote for our guy because he’s got the most delegates and he’s won the popular vote. Well, how come we say who won the popular vote without Florida and Michigan in the race? 

Stephanopoulos: The Obama campaign has said this [the sniper incident] isn’t an isolated incident. This is a part of a pattern of Senator Clinton fudging the truth, inflating her resume.  She also claimed to create the S-CHIP children’s health insurance program.  The Obama campaign says that’s not true.  She said she played a key role in passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act.  The Obama campaign says there’s no evidence of
that. How do you respond to this charge of a pattern of untruthful statements?

Rendell: Well, that’s a perfect example of what Senator Kerry very correctly said shouldn’t be happening. We shouldn’t be bringing up all of the Reverend Wright stuff.  We should let that die.  The Kerry – excuse me, the Obama campaign… … shouldn’t be bringing up this stuff.  If we’re in fact interested in bringing everybody together, if we’re interested in running against Senator McCain, if we’re interested in letting our ideas, like Senator Clinton and Senator Obama’s plans to deal with the subprime mortgage issue, if we’re interested in having voters focus on that, we should stay away from stuff like this.

Look, I can barely remember what I did last Monday, number one.  Number two, I haven’t run into one Pennsylvanian who’s come up to me and said, Governor, I’m troubled because Senator Clinton got that stuff in Bosnia wrong.  It’s just not an issue for people who are struggling with real things that affect their daily lives and their families, George.

And I agree with Senator Kerry.  We can carry out the rest of this campaign drawing differences with Senator McCain and talking about the policies that we want to enact.  You know, interestingly, I’ve been going around to a lot of county dinners and breakfasts that we have before the primary.  And there’s not one person, whether they’re for Obama or Clinton, who’s worried about us coming together.

They’re interested in seeing the Pennsylvania primary mean something.  The people of Pennsylvania want to vote.  But the people of Pennsylvania also want their brethren in Florida and Michigan to be able to cast votes.  John Kerry knows that Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio, those are the four key states as you go into the November election.

And we can’t afford to disenfranchise voters in two states…. 

Well, I can’t speak for Senator Clinton, but I would love that [the Democratic runner up becomes the VP candidate].  I would love either way to see these two great people – and I disagree with John respectfully — I agree Senator Obama can unify the country, but so can Senator Clinton.  And I think the important thing to understand is who’s got the best solutions for the problems, not just unification.  That’s great, but unification is not going to bring us health care.

Senator Clinton’s health care plan is far more workable, far more achievable, and it will not only give universal health care, but it will drive down costs, which are essential.

So I think there are a number of issues that voters have to consider. … I think that this duo, regardless, is a history-making duo.  They are both tremendous candidates.  They both would make great executives, and I’d love to see that happen….

One thing real quickly.  Talking about Iraq.  Senator Kerry mentioned Bob Casey’s endorsement.  But there was another bolt out of heaven.  John Murtha, the number one Democrat in taking on bringing our troops home, endorsed Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama and said Hillary Clinton’s the best bet to get our troops home and get them home quickly.

The Pennsylvania election could be very interesting, because Clinton has to do quite well, not just to keep her in the race, but to build enough momentum to perform decently through the rest of the primaries and withstand a defeat that is essentially inevitable in North Carolina.  From that point, it’ll be up to the Superdelegates, which Clinton has been beating Obama out 250 to 215 (the latest count I’ve seen).

Pennsylvania, for the most part, is a Clinton state, with Ed Rendell and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter supporting Clinton.  Senator Bob Casey has endorsed Obama, but his effects will be less substantial than the others’.

So, it’s obvious that Governor Rendell thinks that since Clinton can come out on top of the popular vote, that perhaps the Superdelegates should be supporting her.  This back and forth of “Stay in” and “Get out” and all this infighting is going  to cost the Democrats the November election.

I’ll try to get up a post of Senator Kerry’s side of the issue.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Bill Richardson: Clinton “Has Every Right to Stay in the Race”

March 30, 2008

Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM-Obama) has joined the growing number of people involved in the “Clinton Should Quit” Controversy (which I’ve made a category for, so that I don’t have to keep linking to each separate post) said the following when he appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation earlier today: “I think the race should continue.  She has every right to stay in the race.  She’s run a very good campaign.  There’s 10 primaries to go.  They end June 3rd [Montana and South Dakota].  But I think it’s important that, at the end of the June 3rd date, we look at who has the most delegates, who has the most popular vote, who has the most states.  And I personally believe that Senator Obama is reaching a stage where his lead is insurmountable.”

So he’s pretty much taken the position that Obama has – she can stay in up until the beginning of June, when it will be obvious that Barack SHOULD be the winner, unless the Superdelegates mess things up (one can only hope for such a joyous event – Democrats messing things up?  NEVER!).

Like I keep saying, this will destroy the Democratic party for at least another election if they keep this up, and it will certainly give John McCain an all but guaranteed win come November.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Clinton Says She Will “Finish What We Started,” at the Convention If She Has To

March 30, 2008

Hillary Clinton told the Washington Post, while on a stop in New Albany, Indiana, yesterday, that she would stay in until the convention if she has to.  Here’s a transcript of the interview:

I know there are some people who want to shut this down and I think they are wrong. I have no intention of stopping until we finish what we started and until we see what happens in the next 10 contests and until we resolve Florida and Michigan. And if we don’t resolve it, we’ll resolve it at the convention — that’s what credentials committees are for.

We cannot go forward until Florida and Michigan are taken care of, otherwise the eventual nominee will not have the legitimacy that I think will haunt us. I can imagine the ads the Republican Party and John McCain will run if we don’t figure out how we can count the votes in Michigan and Florida.

I am committed to competing everywhere that there is an election.

Senator Obama also issued a statement on the issue available here: https://inkslwc.wordpress.com/2008/03/29/obama-clinton-can-run-as-long-as-she-wants-up-until-june/.

Clinton also brought up  (and I’m not sure if this was in the same interview) the subject of the Michigan revote, saying that Obama “block[ed] a proposed Michigan revote. Party officials earlier this month cited problems with conducting another primary there, but Obama aides had previously detailed their concerns in a memo, which she called a ‘smoke screen.’” (Wasington Post).

Right Michigan has also cited the Obama campaign as the source of the problems for the re-vote plans: http://www.rightmichigan.com/story/2008/3/18/13950/1825 and http://www.rightmichigan.com/story/2008/3/27/115843/548

Clinton said on the subject, “His campaign rejected the plan that was put forward.  For the life of me, what Barack was afraid of in Michigan I will never understand.”

Bill Burton, Obama’s spokesman said in an e-mail, “Senator Obama is actually interested in and working towards a solution, unlike Clinton, who is trying to change the rules she agreed to and is more interested in potshots than solving this problem.”

Finally, Clinton was asked how she could win, and she responded by bringing up the Superdelegates, saying that they “have a role and very important responsibility.  We have to nominate someone who can go toe to toe with John McCain on national security and beat him on the economy.  This will all be for naught if we don’t win in November.”

So, Clinton’s in until convention (since I KNOW that it won’t be decided before then), and she said it.  Great for us (or rather McCain), bad for them (or rather Obama)!

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Obama: “Clinton Can Run as Long as She Wants” Up Until June

March 29, 2008

Today, while in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Obama responded to Senator Patrick Leahy’s (D-VT-Obama) recent comments that Hillary Clinton should drop out of the race:

I hadn’t talked to Pat[rick Leahy] about it.  My attitude is that Senator Clinton can run as long as she wants. Her name is on the ballot and she is a fierce and formidable competitor.  She should be able to compete and her supporters should be able to support her for as long as they are willing or able.

When we’ve completed all the contests that are remaining, some time in early June, that at that point there are no more contests and I think it is important to pivot as quickly as possible, for the super delegates or others to make a decision as quickly as possible so that we can settle on a nominee and give that nominee some time before the convention to select a vice president or presidential nominee to start thinking about how the convention should be conducted.

We will have had contests in all 50 states plus several territories. We will have tallied up the pledge delegate vote. We will have tallied up the popular vote, we will have tallied up how many states that were won by who. And then at that point I think people should have more than enough information to make a decision.

I think that the notion that the party has been divided by this contest is somewhat overstated. There’s no doubt that among some of my supporters or some of her supporters there’s probably been some irritation created, but I also think that in every contest you’ve seen in every state huge jumps in Democratic registration, including independents and Republicans who are changing registration to vote in the Democratic primaries. Those are people who are now invested in what happens. I think that bodes very well for us in November. I think the party is going to come together.

You can’t tell me that some of my supporters are going to say, ‘well, we’d rather have the guy who may want to stay in Iraq for a hundred years because we are mad that Senator Clinton ran a negative ad against Senator Obama. I think the converse is true as well. I think Senator Clinton’s supporters will ultimately look at a comparison and say we think an Obama administration will be very different from a McCain administration.

I’m not as well known as Senator Clinton is in this state, which is reflected in the polls, and she’s got a popular Democratic governor who gave her a good head start, and provided her with some institutional support.

We may not be able to win, but I think we’ve got a good chance and we’re going to work as hard as we can.

On a lighter side, while playing basketball with Senator Bob Casey (D-PA-Obama) at a local high school, Obama said, “You were boxing out, which is what we need.”  He’ll need some good defense both on and off the court if he wants to win the nomination without killing the party.  He’s going to need that defense, because as I have pointed out earlier, this race is getting pretty nasty, and we still have until the convention in August for it to only get nastier.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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