...a blog by Richard Flowers

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Day 2669: Hillary-Billary wins Transylvania


Oh, sorry, apparently that's PENNsylvania.

In the Blue Ridge Mountains of Carpathia. No?

Look, what does a fluffy elephant know about GEOGRAPHY? Anyone can make a mistake. Even Buggs Bunny! Watch!

Mind you, I'm not doing so badly when you consider that the Conservatory Shadow Secretary of State for ABROAD, Mr Vague, thinks Uganda has a coast. He's probably confusing it with Bohemia.

But never mind all that, it turns out that Senator Hillary-Billary has staged yet another remarkable comeback and/or Senator Barry O has once again been deprived of a clean victory (depending on your taste in Candidate).

I think that the first thing to say is that everyone needs to remember that it's not Hillary-Billary's fault that the Dumbocrat's electoral system is STUPID.

This was a well-deserved win, mainly won by going in and campaigning on the LOCAL ISSUES.

Sure, she threatened to VAPORISE Iran, which is definitely NOT very nice, but then Barry O promised to nuke Pakistan, and as for Mr Oven Chip…

At least Hillary-Billary was (at least notionally) trying to DETER with a promise of FIERY VENGEANCE should Iran carry out its threat to wipe Israel off the map.

And she might have played the "Look Out! Terrorists!" card (like her husband NEVER did that!), though you've got to say that that card is GOING to get played sometime in this election and the Senator from Illinois is going to need to have a better answer than "no fair!".

But Hillary-Billary also appealed to the people who want their voices heard but are often left out of the electoral process. And she's got a BIT of a point when she says that these are the people that the Dumbocrats NEED to be reaching out to if they are going to build a coalition to win in November. All the more reason to make sure you keep her ON SIDE even once Barry O has won.

Attempts to force Hillary-Billary to give up the race aren't going to help, though, particularly if it makes this vital sector of the electorate think they're being silenced.

If it ends up "going all the way to the Convention", well, isn't that just what the system is SUPPOSED to do? So what if you might prefer it to cut the whole business short!

A proportional system to select the Convention Delegate seems like a GOOD thing, but in a contest to select ONE candidate, you can't GET a proportional outcome. (Not without some sort of horrible TRANSPORTER ACCIDENT, anyway.)

But the main problem is that it just goes on FOREVER! Though in fact the turnouts at the polls and the ratings for the TV debates, now in Prime Time, actually suggest that in a close race between two candidates with solid support people are actually GRIPPED by this, not turned off.

It might make more SENSE if it was about letting the candidates focus their campaigns in one region at a time: spending proper time getting to know and be known by voters in the South or the Midwest or on the East or West Coast, concentrating on the issues that are appropriate to those States. But when States like California and New York, on OPPOSITE sides of the CONTINENT, hold their primaries on the same day it's just one mad rush, mostly flying backwards and forwards and burning up the Carbon Footprint like nobody's business!

Of course, everyone EXPECTED it to be all over bar the shouting on Super-Double-Duper Tuesday, but again we come back to the proportional system.

And then there are the so-called super-delegates. No, they're not the ones with HEROES powers (except the Flying Congressman, obviously) but nonimated members of the "great" and the "good". Or, being as this is Americaland, the RICH and FAMOUS. And the Kennedys. Who are both.

It seems that a lot of people are saying that the super-delegates should not "overturn" the decision of the voters, and if say – let's just take a WILD GUESS and pick – Senator Barry O has more ordinary delegates when they get to the Democratic National Convention in Denver, then the super-delegates should accept that that means Barry is the winner.

Now, I happen to think that you shouldn't have super-delegates AT ALL, but if you DO have a system with super-delegates, then surely you have them for a REASON, not just to act as a rubber stamp. In effect you've ended up having a group with a casting vote. Or four-hundred odd casting votes, actually.

At the moment the declared super-delegates split pretty evenly, anyway. Slightly breaking in Hillary-Billary's favour, but her advantage of about two-dozen hardly cancels out Barry O's one-hundred-and-fifty-odd lead in ordinary delegates.

Of the four-thousand and forty-seven delegates to be chosen, there are only seven hundred and twelve still to be decided: four-hundred and eight at the ballot box, and three-hundred and four uncommitted super-delegates.

Hillary-Billary needs four-hundred and thirty one to reach the "winning line" and become the Candidate. Assuming, and it's a REASONABLE assumption, that she goes all the way, and that the voters continue to be pretty evenly divided, she'll probably STILL need two-hundred and thirty of the super-delegates once she gets to Denver in August.

Barry, on the other fluffy foot, is only three-hundred and one away from winning. If he does SPECTACULARLY well, he could actually tie it up in the Primaries – remember, Hillary-Billary CAN'T win on the popular vote alone, now – but assuming he doesn't, he'll probably get to Colorado only around a hundred shy of the target.

Denver to Las Vegas is about 750 miles as the crow elephant flies, but I think you can probably work out the odds for yourself.

Is a long campaign like this actually a BAD thing, though?

Would we have seen Barry O rise to the heights of oratory with his moving and thoughtful speech on race, or seen into the other side of his personality with his off-the-record remarks about the bitterness of the white poor, if it wasn't for Hillary-Billary snapping at his heels all the way?

And this idea that she is "doing Senator Oven Chip's work for him"… I think that that is quite wrong. Sure every attack the octogenarian warmonger is going to try will be met with: "but we dealt with that when Senator Clinton raised it? Weren't you paying attention?"

Hillary-Billary is quite right, the American people do not want a QUITTER for a President – and while both she AND Barry O have stuck it out, Senator Oven Chip has… gone on vacation.

Hillary-Billary has done AWFULLY WELL. She would have been a GREAT Candidate (and in unforeseen circumstances she still JUST might be). Why deny her the lap of honour, especially when she's paying for it.

But Barry O is going to win.

Yes, it has been HARD, and yes there have been some UNFORTUNATE times along the way, but I don't think that this has so much damaged as TEMPERED and frankly I trust him a whole lot more now that he has had to WORK to get the nomination than I did when he was going to be wafted into the White House on a wave of optimism and warm words.

Mr God Bless Amnesia!

1 comment:

Alasdair W said...

The long campaign could be a good thing at keeping attention on the Democrats. But meanwhile McCain has been able to campaign and go on a World tour that made him look Prediential, in which he got mixed up between a shia' and a sunni. So maybe elected the oldest president ever wouldn't be a good idea. Stick to the first woman, or black. I don't think Hillary has much chance yet, the democrats have Proportional Representation, which doesn't give her a good chance of catching up on Obama. When it comes to the convention, I can't see the superdelegates siding with Hillary when the popular vote is on Obama's side.
Talking of maps a LibDem councillor in Worcester got out a map to show me where I had to deliver some leaflets but struggled to find North Worcester. Which is really quite hard as Worcester is a small city and north Worcester distictively sticks out on a map.