Friday, February 15, 2008

Everybody Loves A Winner

I have to apologize, I have had the flu all week so I have not been able to produce the level of content that I am accustomed to. I was also laid-off from my job at H&R Block as the company and new majority stock holder works to increase their stock price and anyone familiar with Wall Street knows the quickest way to increase stock price is to cut labor costs. You will have to forgive me if my mind is not as sharp as usual, this latest strain of the flu has left my mind a little foggy. I had wanted to wait and write about this story after I began to feel better, but this story could not wait since it has large implications in the Democratic nominating process.

I wasn’t quite sure how I wanted to approach this story. I didn’t know if I wanted to borrow a line from my friend the “field negro” and frame it in terms of a bunch of old “house negroes” finally deciding to take a ride on the underground railroad and escape the plantation mentality. Or to explore the larger issue which is that Hillary’s super delegate count is about to see an erosion from Party leaders who now view Obama as not only viable, but possibly their best chance in November. What we are witnessing is the great American past-time of everybody loves a winner. As Senator Obama continues to win his campaign is projecting an aura of inevitability, oh we all remember that right? This was the aura the Clinton campaign struggled to present from the beginning of the primaries without actually winning any primaries. This elusive aura seems easier to project when you are actually winning.

Because of my respect for Rep. John Lewis, I decided not to go with the “house negro” scenario and instead discuss the super-delegate issue. I have nothing but respect for John Lewis, while all those other sophisticated blacks were ducking, John Lewis was getting his head cracked and being attacked by viscous dogs. And even though he could have taken the road of Andrew Young, Jesse Jackson, and other so-called civil rights leaders and gone for self, all he wanted was just to represent his little Georgia district. He truly was a civil rights lion in the fight for equality, so it comes with sadness that it took what it took to get him onboard with Barack Obama. It is very easy to talk about how one should vote when all of the candidates that have ever run have always looked like you. It is easy to say I never focus on color when all of the candidates have been the same color and it just so happens to be your color. I would never advocate anyone voting for a candidate based on his color alone, but having someone to vote for that is your color doesn’t hurt. I shouldn’t vote for Barack Obama because he is black, but I should not vote for him because he is black either.

What I think we are going to see in the coming weeks is as Senator Obama continues to rack up wins in “insignificant” states that many of those super delegates that the Clinton’s were counting on to put them over the top in a tight convention fight are going to begin to desert the ship. You know the ones who were endorsing her before a single vote was cast they are going to get nervous. Let’s face it in politics you are only as powerful as your access to power and many of these politicians will not let the opportunity slip by to be on the winning team. It is a lot easier to get access as a supporter than as an ex-foe. If as I predict there is a significant number of super delegates that switch allegiances prior to the next big round of primaries, it will make very difficult for Hillary to continue. While she will not be mathematically eliminated, the pressure will build to end it sooner rather than later. If that happens then we will see if the nomination is more important to her than the Party. I think this is the question no one really knows the answer to.

Jay Carson, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton, said Thursday: “Congressman Lewis is a true American hero, and we have the utmost respect for him and understand the great pressure he faced. And Senator Clinton enjoys incredibly strong support from superdelegates around the country from all regions and races.”

The comments by Mr. Lewis underscored a growing sentiment among some of the party’s black leaders that they should not stand in the way of Mr. Obama’s historic quest for the nomination and should not go against the will of their constituents. As superdelegates, they may have the final say, which is something Mr. Lewis said he feared would weaken Democrats and raise Republicans’ chances of winning the White House.[1]

For now the hemorrhaging appears to only be among the black super delegates who feel a sense of shame by not supporting the black candidate against the wishes of their constituents. I believe though that there will be more super delegate leakage and all those super delegate scenarios and conspiracies written about over the last couple of weeks won’t be worth the paper they were written on. We have to remember who the super delegates are, these are career politicians. And like any good politician they are looking forward to their next job in someone’s administration. After what we have seen this past two years in Congress to expect loyalty from these folks is asking a bit much. So what’s it going to be Neo? The red pill or the blue pill?


1 comment:

Malcolm said...

I was kind of wondering about that myself.

I wrote something about it in my blog; although nowhere near as diplomatic as you are being.

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