Wednesday, May 21, 2008

On to Stockman’s

OK, all you Obama supporters who’ve turned blue holding your breath, you can exhale. Barack lost big in Kentucky (35 point loss) but won handily in Oregon (16 point win).

All that’s left is to close the deal in South Dakota and Montana on June 3, with a little civics lesson in Puerto Rico on June 1. My prediction: If in two weeks Barack is buying rounds to celebrate his victory at Stockman’s Bar and Lunch in Missoula, Montana, he’ll be the next President of the United States.

Q: What does Barack mean saying tonight that he has “won an absolute majority of all the delegates chosen by the people?”

A: Not to accuse Barack of becoming an ordinary politician but there are a couple of half-truths built into that statement.

First, the number of delegates to be chosen by the people is still very much in doubt pending resolution of the Michigan and Florida controversies. So his majority is not yet “absolute.” Barack must be very careful not to let the Vote Nazis on the DNC play their “No Vote for You” policy into the hands of the Republicans who are looking to win Michigan and Florida in November.

Second, should delegates selected by caucuses rather than primary election be considered “chosen by the people?” It’s a telling fact that states that run caucuses only report the results; they don’t report the number of citizens who actually participated in the process, because the number of people who participate is usually so small as to be embarrassing as representative of the will of the people. Barack split the primary states with Hillary and won all the caucus states – that’s the secret to his victory.

Q: Can Hillary still come back to win?

A: No, not if her goal is to get elected President. Enough Obama supporters, both black voters and left-wing middle and upper middle class white voters, would sit home in November if he were denied the nomination to deny her the Presidency.

Q: Would Hillary have been a stronger candidate against John McCain?

A: Maybe. She got the most primary votes. The states she won have more electoral votes in November than the states Barack won. One web site shows her beating McCain 284 electoral votes to 237, but Obama losing to McCain 242 to 285. But there’s no requirement for political parties to put forward their strongest candidate; indeed, the Democrats rarely do.

Q: Does Barack need Hillary?

A: No, he doesn’t need her or her fundraising ability or her organization. But he does need her working class white voters to beat John McCain. Hillary got over 17,000,000 votes in the primaries and that’s a big number. Bush beat Kerry in 2004 by just 3,000,000 votes. Gore and Bush were separated by fewer than 550,000 votes (fewer than that in Florida). Carter beat Ford by 1,700,000 votes in 1976. Nixon beat Humphrey by just over 500,000 votes in 1968. Kennedy edged Nixon by just over 100,000 votes in 1960. Just 5% of Hillary voters could easily swing a close election. Come June, expect Barack to make nice with Hillary and with Hillary voters.

Q: Does Barack have to offer Hillary the VP slot?

A: No. There are plenty of other jobs he could offer her:

Governor of New York
Majority Leader of the Senate
Secretary of Education
Secretary of Labor
Attorney General
Secretary of State
Ambassador to the United Nations
Special Envoy to Iran

Q: Is this going to go on all summer?

A: No. The Olympics start August 8 in Beijing, China. The U.S Olympic team track and field trials begin June 27 in Eugene, Oregon. All the black athletes winning medals for the United States will remind America that our race relations are about more than Fox News prattling on and on about Michelle Obama and Jeremiah Wright.

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