Do the Democrats really want to win the White House in November?

I’m starting to doubt it. The newest poll numbers give Hillary Clinton approval ratings, that are almost a match to President Bush’s. She is still head to head, however, when it comes to a match up with Barack Obama at 45% to 45%. But the damage to the prospects of either candidate is visible:

One thing about these head-to-head matchups: Our pollsters found that for the second poll in a row, more than 20 percent of Clinton and Obama supporters say they would support McCain when he’s matched up against the other Democrat. There is clearly some hardening of feelings among some of the most core supporters of both Democrats, though it may be Obama voters, who are more bitter in the long run.

Despite Obama’s lead in pledged delegates and the popular vote, the Democratic Party and the super delegates continue sitting on the fence, unable or unwilling to bring about a decision. If a leading Democrat dares to speak out on this issue, he or she better beware. Bill Richardson, who all but said outright that Hillary Clinton should give up when he endorsed Barack Obama, was called a “Judas”. Nancy Pelosi, must have missed the bigger picture, too. She said that it would be damaging for the party if the superdelegates overturned the popular vote or the count in pledged delegates. Subsequently she received a letter from Clinton campaign donors, who thinly veiled the threat to discontinue donations for the Democratic Party, the Washington Post quotes and reports:

“You suggested [in a recent television interview] superdelegates have an obligation to support the candidate who leads in the pledged delegate count as of June 3rd, whether that lead be by 500 delegates or 2,” the Clinton backers wrote. “This is an untenable position that runs counter to the party’s intent in establishing super-delegates in 1984.”

[…] But the letter made it clear that the fundraisers believe their voice should carry real weight with the speaker. Noting their past financial support, they wrote, “We . . . hope you will be responsive to some of your major enthusiastic supporters.” (emphasis added)

The party’s intent on establishing superdelegates can’t be voiced more clearly than the Economist did it in his story “Inside the minds of the superdelegates” :

[Superdelegates] are party bigwigs: members of Congress, sitting governors, former presidents and the like. There are some 800 of them—a fifth of the total number of delegates. Their role in the nomination process dates back to the 1980s, when party bosses decided that people such as themselves should be empowered to break a tie or stop the great unwashed from picking someone unsuitable.

In other words they are here to make sure an establishment candidate gets the nomination.

If you look at Barack Obama now, he did things that simply are not done, like publishing his tax records, publishing his earmarks, generally making good on his promise to work for more transparency in Washington. With all the skeletons in Washington’s closets, Hillary Clinton’s candidacy certainly looks really attractive to the establishment. And should she fail in getting the nomination, Barack Obama’s campaign can be damaged enough to not win against McCain. Obviously, four more years of Republican Presidency are the lesser evil to some.

That’s not possible? Well it has been done before. Seymour Hersh writes in his book “The Dark Side Of Camelot” (Backbay Books 1998, p.39):

[JFK’s grandfather] “Fitzgerald served Joe’s [Kennedy] needs by running as a spoiler in the Democratic senatorial primary in Massachussetts against an attractive New Deal Democrat named Joseph E. Casey, one of FDR’s favourites in the Congress. Fitzgerald, whose daily campaign activities were heavily subsidized by Kennedy – and carefully monitored by one of Joe’s high-powered and well-paid speechwriters – took 80’000 votes away from Casey in the primary, and inflicted so much damage that Republican Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., won the general election easily.”(emphasis addded)

What will Hillary Clinton get out of this? Another chance in 2012?


23 thoughts on “Do the Democrats really want to win the White House in November?

  1. It is quite clear that the “establishment” wants either Hillery or McCain.

    Hillery’s campaign has made it clear, if Obama gets the election, the people should vote for McCain. Better to have more 4 years of Republican Rule than Obama.

    We, the people, are an inconvenience to the Ruling Elite. We are to be manipulated. We are to be controlled.

    After all, the Electoral College was created so that the common man would not make a mistake and elect an unacceptable man for President. “Super Delegates” fulfill the same role.

    If McCain is elected “President” it will merely reflect the fact that things haven’t gotten bad enough for the common man to wake up out of his collective stupor.

  2. I’ve heard people say that if Clinton or Obama (whoever is their favorite) doesn’t get the nomination, they will vote for McCain. How sick is that!!?? To me, that is a betrayal of this country. Haven’t we had enough of that?

  3. Yes, but only over the other candidate’s dead and mutiliated reputation and body of work.
    The nation will have to choose between a politically damaged Dem and a brain damaged Repuglycan.

  4. You have no idea what is going to happen with the Rezko trial or any other number of issues that Obama has simmering away. Clinton’s going to stay in the race because, once Florida and Michigan are counted, she’ll be very close to him in terms of the popular vote. She may even overtake him in the upcoming elections. But we cannot have only one candidate in the race and have Rezko decide to rat him out after Fitzgerald convicts. Remember, Fitzgerald doesn’t seek to flip people until they are facing prison time.

    Clinton is in good shape. She definitely isn’t the establishment candidate and evidenced by the pure media hatred for her. No one whom the media dislikes as much as they dislike her can be all bad – that’s for sure. I’ll take a hated media figure, with Clinton’s outstanding progressive voting record, over an adored media candidate with a very short progressive voting record any day of the week.

    Keep Clinton in the race. She’s smart, she’s progressive and she knows the issues. If Obama can’t win with her in the race, then he shouldn’t be the candidate.

  5. You forgot to mention Lori that she acts just like a Republican. Fighting dirty, telling lies and voting for war.

  6. But Lori, he IS winning. I think that’s the point.

    Of course they shouldn’t count Florida and Michigan. They all signed an agreement saying they wouldn’t campaign in those two states. Hillary broke that agreement. Obama’s name wasn’t even ON the ballot in Michigan. You can’t change the rules in the middle of the game. Its called cheating. She knew the rules before those votes were taken.
    Aside from that, it is a lose, lose situation for voters bother those states. Many more will be disenfranchised if the DO count those votes, who stated home and didn’t vote because they knew their votes would not count. (They seemed to understand the consequences of moving up the Primary dates).

    The only right and fair thing to do is to stick to the rules like they were laid out, or to split the delegates down the middles so they will still be seated at the convention. The voters will get another chance to vote in November for President beings those states cannot afford to put on another election (not financed by the Hillary camp).

    There is no other fair way to handle this.

  7. Hi Lori, and welcome to The Zoo. I don’t think you’ll expect me to agree with you and I won’t. From the research I’ve done I can find two issues on Obama. Rezko and Wright. He said his piece on Wright to all of you, and I think this particularly nasty episode will be over after some time, people just don’t want to hear it anymore. The other Rezko, may still be an embarassment and, honestly I don’t like it at all. But Barack Obama took to the trouble and sat down with Chicago newspapers to answer all those questions for a whole day. He is very, very forthcoming with information to bolster his claim of transparency. Hillary is not issueing any info unless she is sued for it or in a fix and can’t wriggle out.

    Lastly, do you really think the Republicans will give her a free pass, if she is the candidate. Think again. The stuff I found during two weeks of casually looking into her records is enough to fill a large folder. The Republicans have filing cabinets filled with stuff and they are going to use it. If they don’t I get extra nervous, believe me.

  8. Sorry Lori, Hillary IS the establishment candidate in this race (for the Dems anyway), that’s why the media is ignoring who and what she is.

  9. Nice post. I hate Hillary with all my being, and it’s hard for me to see myself voting for her if she is the Democratic nominee. She’s an all-out liar, probably moreso than her husband, and when she wants some sympathy votes she lets a few tears fall and plays the damsel in distress. I never liked her, I still don’t, and I am so engrossed in the possibility of a progressive, different [and BLACK] man leading this country, that if he lost the nomination I might end up completely disinterested in this election. Sad but true. I’d be back in four years.

  10. Ajizzle, welcome and thank you for the compliments. If you have time stay awhile, The Zoo has many great posts, really.

    I hate HRC, too.

  11. Zooey – LOL – So you’re under the impression that the media OPPOSES the establishment candidate? Does that mean that Gore was the establishment candidate in the 2000 general? Or that Dean was the establishment candidate in the primary? And if the media ignores the establishment candidate, then why the favorable treatment for Bush in 2004? You don’t get much more establishment than being a Republican president.

    As for this idea thta Clinton acts like a Republican, her voting record certainly proves otherwise, and it is sad how few Obama supporters know how progressive she actually is. I can tell you how Obama voted on stuff but meet very few Obama supporters who can do the same about Clinton. She’s to the left of Feingold on judicial appoints, she’s about as pro-union as it gets and has a perfect pro-choice record which doesn’t involve voting present. She opposed the bankruptcy bill that passed and proposed linking increases in the minimum wage to congressional pay raises.

    She didn’t go negative until long after Obama D-Punjab had.

    No, I don’t expect you to agree with me. But there’s a weird bubble around Obama supporters, and they are usually so genuinely uninformed as to how she has actually voted in her career, that’s it good for you guys to hear from the other side.

  12. Hi, AJizzle. Welcome to the Zoo. Hillary will have to step back at some point. The question is, how much damage will she inflict on Obama? If she thinks doing the crap she’s doing will position her for 2012, she is sadly mistaken.

  13. Lori,

    You’re welcome to comment here, but spewing shit like “Obama D-Punjab” will get you into the moderation queue.

  14. And Lori, if you read my comment correctly, you’ll see that I am definitely NOT under the impression that the media opposes the establishment candidate.

    Try again.

  15. Interesting.. She voted for the War, and she voted for Kyl/Lieberman which will get us into the war with Iran.

    And ditto what Zooey said.

    I know that she is acting like and whining loudly about how the media is all over her and she is the victim here, but considering ALL the crap she has been pulling, she has been getting off really lightly. She is incredibly manipulative and it is turning off the voters. That is why her numbers have turned south. She lost this thing. Its over.

    I can only speak for me. I do know Obama is not perfect either. Neither of these candidates were my choice for a person with the character and courage needed to lead this country and pull it back together. I don’t do the ‘bubble’ thing. Barack has demonstrated the character, strength, courage, integrity, and sound judgement I am looking for in a president that its going to take to lead this country out of the hole Bush dug for us. He has now earned my respect. Hillary wouldn’t know ‘character’ if it came up and bit her in the butt.

    I do know which candidate would be better for this country, and it isn’t her.

  16. So is tomorrow the day that we learn if Texas actually went for Obama? It was March 28th right? When they announce who won the caucus and the total number of delegates for each candidate?

  17. “all signed an agreement saying they wouldn’t campaign in those two states. Hillary broke that agreement. Obama’s name wasn’t even ON the ballot in Michigan.”

    I don’t have a candidate I am supporting, so I say this without prejudice… at least that is to say I don’t like them all…

    But my Democrat family members in Michigan are more than a little annoyed that it was somehow decided that Michigan primary votes weren’t needed… Granted they are HRC fans… So they went, they voted, they want them counted.

    I wouldn’t go painting HRC as being the only one who wants the votes for her counted. The people who went to vote and casted those votes wanted them counted as well!

  18. I know they do. I heard several on the radio today. But I also heard people call in saying that they would be furious because they stayed home knowing their vote wouldn’t be counted AND their candidate wasn’t even on the ballot anyway. They would be disenfranchised, and the number of votes do not reflect an actual fair primary. What about those voters? Is it fair to them? Should Obama be hurt because he followed the rules set out by the party? They were going by what they were told the rules were. You can’t change the rules after the vote is already taken in order to suit one candidate without hurting LOTS of voters, and not being fair to the other candidate.
    Nobody wins. Well, Hillary gets an unfair advantage.

    I am only interested that our voting be fair. Otherwise the votes mean nothing. I am sorry the rules were what they were, but they were decided beforehand and you can’t change them now without hurting too many people and coming up with a result that does not reflect the votes of all who would have voted for their candidate of choice.

    It would just be wrong. They have to get it right for the general election now.

  19. in response to Lori, I am very aware of her voting record. I’m also aware of the non-existent “experience” she keeps touting to rebuff Obama supporters and the whoppers of lies she’s told since this campaign started. I’m not going to be naive and believe that Obama won’t mislead to some extent during his campaign too, but I can’t see myself voting for someone whose words I take with a grain of salt. And is this some sort of alternating monarchy? Why are Clinton’s and Bush’s the only names appearing on ballots lately? lol. Odd.

  20. My Evaluation of the Three Candidates

    As now, Americans are stuck with three candidates. Campaign slogans and media seem to have blurred voters’ vision. I am an independent. To me, the most important question is: can we elect a president who will repair the deterioration this country has suffered in the past few years. Below are the criteria I use to screen out the candidates. The voters should have their own criteria.

    1. Age and health:
    McCain is too old (71 now) and in remission from skin cancer. The other two candidates do not seem have these problems.

    2. Character and substance:
    McCain is an honorable veteran and respected senator. However, he is too stubborn and too committed to the Iraq (or may-be Iran) war.

    To some, Obama is an inspiring speaker. To me, his talks are often slippery and without substance. In this category of character and substance, he is the most
    unknown among the three.

    Hillary has lived in the public light for more than 30 years. She has built some resistance from the public, particularly from the media. However, she is an optimistic
    person with a resilient strength to overcome difficulties. I cannot find any major character defect in her, despite intensive media digs.

    3. Liability: possible personal matters that can hurt the general election.

    McCain: His aids have strong tie with lobbyists. His wife’s financial data.

    Obama: His dealings with the indicted Chicago land dealer. His relationship with Rev Wright. His wife’s stand on races and America. His past history of smoking and drug

    Hillary: Bill Clinton’s history and dealings.

    4. Electability:

    Obama can win the nomination, but not the general electron. The 2008 general election, using the 2004 presidential election results as a reference, will essentially be divided between the “red” and “blue” states. When weighing in different voters compositions (races and genders) and the general perception about the candidates, Obama may lose one or two of big blue states such as CA, NY and PA, besides Ohio.

    Hillary has been able to capture most of the blue states in the primary, despite strong completions from Obama. If she is the democratic candidate, she has a very good chance to keep all the blue states in the camp, besides being favored in Ohio and Arkansas. However, her chance of being nominated is less than 50%.

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