The Democratic Nomination Process Heats Up
Kornblut and Murray do an excellent job in explaining the campaign strategies for Democratic frontrunners Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
I will quickly sum up the article for you along with adding some of my own personal ideas.
Hillary, as we have seen, has moved away from South Carolina- leaving Bill and Chelsea there, as she herself heads off to the top February 5th states: California, New Jersey, New York.
Her plan is based on the idea that Barack Obama is going to win South Carolina and she needs to be prepared to gain the major delegates in the Super Tuesday states. This is an idea that Hillary and her strategists will try to deny given any chance by the media.
What must this look like to the people of South Carolina? Well I’ve talked to enough voters in New Hampshire and Massachusetts to know that voters want to meet the candidates, they want to hear them speak, and they want to attend campaign events in their area. By leaving South Carolina to the care of Bill and Chelsea, to me, Hillary is effectively saying that she does not have the time to waste on voters in a state that she believes is fully going to go into Barack Obama’s hands come Saturday. Too bad, maybe she could have actually convinced some people to vote for her between now and then.
Of course the press’s spin on this issue has been hilarious- a total villification of this whole entire campaign strategy of leaving South Carolina voters high and dry. This caused Hillary to return to South Carolina for a bit today- just making a little appearance, reminding voters that she still “cares about them”. Let’s hope that South Carolina voters are smarter than that!
Obama’s strategy, as it has been from the beginning is to build grassroots support in the February 5th states along with South Carolina. Obama is currently spending all of his time in South Carolina, leaving the 22 February 5th states up to his strong network of campaign staff.
Obama’s campaign certainly has the capital to mount a full-fledged attack on the February 5th states after South Carolina’s primary on Saturday. I expect to see Obama flying back and forth between all of these states during the next week.
I fully believe that a strong showing in California is exactly what Obama will need in order to secure the nomination. As of right now, according to all of the polls (and we know how polls can be), Hillary has a wide lead in California. However, it is my firm belief that the people in California are some of the most progressive Democrats in the United States. These are the type of people that appeal to Obama’s message of change and hope in politics and these are the type of people who will show up to the polls and vote on election day. The Obama campaign needs to make sure that their message reaches these people in order to get the best showing and the most delegates in this state.
That’s what it comes down to my friends, delegates. If you had asked me a year ago how I thought the primary process was going to play out, I would have mentioned something that I heard all throughout my government courses- after New Hampshire, Iowa, and South Carolina, our nominee will be all but finalized, with the February 5th states mattering very little in the grand scheme of things. However, this time around, in the extremely close races both on the Democratic and Republican sides, nothing is decided and everything is still up in the air. Delegates are what matter in this primary season, no the big mo created in a 2-3 win in the big 3 primary states. It will all come down to the delegate count- done for the Democrats in a confusing proportional manner (if the whole superdelegate thing was not confusing enough!). The Obama campaign is focusing on winning as many delegates as possible to compete with Hillary’s large superdelegate numbers and support in heavy delegate states such as New York and California. Hopefully, this strategy will work in favor of my candidate.
Oh Edwards. I expect Edwards to gain a strong vote from white voters in South Carolina that can identify with his son of the South attitude. However, after loosing in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada, I do not really see Edwards going anywhere towards gaining the nomination.
I firmly believe that Edwards is only still in the race to not only frustrate Hillary and Obama, but also to use his small but growing delegates as a way to gain a top position in whatever Democratic nominee’s campaign, preferably Vice President. Because the battle over the nomination may very well come down to who has the most delegates, Edwards can use his delegates as a bribing chip to gain access to the Vice Presidential ticket. This event would not surprise me if Edwards does somewhat well in South Carolina.
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how this one plays out!
Live Blogging- the Democratic Debate on MSNBC
Race (Obama, Clinton)- Drop it already, obviously neither the Clinton or Obama camps want to continue this issue, especially after they have declared a “truce”.
White Male Issue (directed at Edwards)- Clinton and Obama both said that they did not want to make this primary about race or gender, so why raise this question?
Obama’s Remarks in Last Debate (Obama)- Yeah, they sounded bad. Sorry!
Last Debate Ganging Up (Edwards)- “Entrenched monied interests” (Edwards)- your campaign takes money from those people.
Is is just me or is Edwards trying to take all of Obama’s talking points- special interests ruling everything, hope, and need for change in Washington
False Hopes (Clinton)- hold on, let me list all the issues first before I respond to the question… blah blah, experience, blah blah 35 years (total BS I hate this argument of her).
Obama and Edwards Prepared (Clinton)- Voters need to decide- no sh*t, Tim why did you ask her this question? what answer were you expecting?
Operating Officer as a Weakness (Obama)- President: “vision for where country needs to go, capacity to bring together best people, spark kind of debate to solve [problems], and being able to inspire and moblize American people… need sound judgement, vision of future, capacity to tap into hopes and dreams of American people”
S&W- Bring people together (Obama-S); messy- needs good people in place to make sure that systems run (Obama-W); 54 years fighting survival, in courts, public life, got what it takes inside (Edwards-S); powerful emotional response to pain around him, can undermine what needs to be done (Edwards-W); passionately committed, instrument for changes- especially for children, create opportunities and make change (Clinton-S); impatient and frustrated, concerned about pushing further and faster [bullshit Hillary] (Clinton W).
Hil’s Attack on Barack (Clinton)- Can’t always depend on others like Bush did. *Hint- I’m better than Obama, he’s like Bush*.
Barack’s Response (Obama)- Need to be good manager. Team- get best people and hold them accountable. Bush couldn’t listen to other perspectives and bring people together. *Obviously I’m not a stubborn dumb ass like Bush*.
False Info about B.O., How Campaign Combats It (Obama)- set down the truth, can’t prevent this, if he is doing his job as a candidate effectively, people will see through the lies on the internet.
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Citigroup and Soverign Wealth Funds (Clinton)- need more control, transparency / problems to get here- subprime crisis / her plan to combat what’s happening.
Kuwait and SWF (Edwards)- agree with Hillary about what to do, problem- core of economy, growth but with wealthiest, worries of middle class.
More (Obama)- U.S. doesn’t have an energy policy, failures of Bush administration to reduce dependence on foreign oil- need to work on new sources of fuel to fix balance of payments / Bush administration doesn’t believe in oversight, mortgage industry lobbied to prevent- wants to restore accountability and oversight in financial markets.
Middle Class Woes / Bankruptcy Bill (Edwards)- Shouldn’t have vote for it *flip flop*, bill not fair- yes it’s not fair. Need- universal healthcare, energy transformation, pay day lender laws, increase national min. wage, easier for college
Bankruptcy Bill (Clinton)- never became law, I do regret it. Bankruptcy reform needed. Severance pay for Countrywide CEO- I don’t like Hillary, but this comment rings true for me! Race Race Race- “Black and Brown” groups victimized
Bankruptcy Bill (Obama)- opposed them both (like Iraq War resolution), Hil’s right- now listen to my bill…, need to rid influence of special interests in D.C., change how politics is done.
Retiree, Safeguards for Reverse of Bush Tax Cuts (Obama)- make tax code fairer.
QUESTION: ARE THERE LIVE MICS HERE? YOU CAN HEAR EVERYTHING!
Foreclosure Rates, Freeze Interest Rates and Long-Term Effects (Clinton)- freeze to stabilize and in line with what the fed is doing, other parts of plan… fund of $30bn to stop foreclosures, employ people in greenpower jobs
Edwards joking with Hillary- hilarious! LOVE HIM!
Obama seems really stiff and unemotional now…
CFR- Why do they give this money?- *Of course JE brings up this question, he has raised the least out of the three*
(Obama)- Don’t take $ from lobbyists or PACs, $ recorded from drug or insurance agency, raised more money from small donors, taken away power from lobbyists b/c of bundling law he passed, want public financing of campaigns (co-sponsor of bill in Senate),
Ask Obama to join her to convince Bush to change direction and end War in Iraq, she introduced legislation that requires Bush to come to Congress to get anything that he is trying to do with Iraq. Will he co-sponsor her legislation? *Wow a bill co-sponsored by Clinton and Obama would be great and speak wonders for the unity of the Democratic party*
(Obama)- Can work on this. Obama’s plan of troops out by 2009. First job- Joint Chiefs of Staff need to phase out involvement in Iraq.
Will HRC and JE Join in 2009 Withdrawal of Obama (Clinton and Edwards)- Clinton- yes will work on it , Edwards- most aggressive plan
NH No Pledge? (All)- Obama- not positive, may still have strategic interests, Bush’s problem, Clinton- need to protect strategic interests, not only Bush but also Republican candidates, Edwards- dishonest to suggest that won’t have troops to protect embassy, difference- all combat troops out in 1st year,
Willing to say that may go after in Iraq if form- could be combat aspect, or not- if not there could be problems for US safety?
(Edwards)- Will keep troops in Kuwait as safeguard, don’t want perception of U.S. presence.
Obama clarification: strike force preferable if able to do so.
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Volunteer Army, College ROTC Program, Will Enforce? (Clinton)- Yes, new GI Bill of Rights, work on Senate Armed Services Committee.
Top 10 Have No ROTC Programs (Clinton)- Don’t do anything to hurt it.
Same Question (Obama)- Yes, rural communities carrying the load disproportionately, need increase in force structure (army, marines) to cut down on tours of duty, obligation to serve for everyone, National Service program.
Enforce Statue to Cut of Funding (Edwards)- Yes, can’t just talk about it- poor veterans, PTSD, physical injuries, families hurting- need comprehensive eval. of health, job training, additional edu., help families, narrow gap, funding.
Obama additional (Obama)- How Bush administration has failed, still paying for Walter Reid bills.
Clinton additional (Clinton)- Need to do everything, traumatic brain industry- pass legislation to work on this problem.
Pledge to Kill Yaka Mtn. (Obama)- Yes, need to secure people of Nevada that they will be safe, need to figure out how to store nuclear waste / (Clinton)- Voted against in 2001, consistently against, attack on Obama and Edwards’ positions on this issue / (Obama-rebut.)- IL more nuclear power plants than any other but still opposed / (Edwards)- Opposed, nuclear power- Obama yes to additional plans, Clinton- agnostic, Edwards- against building more nuclear power plants / (Clinton)- Did vote for Yaka twice, since that time = now opposed.
Voted for Energy Bill- Big Winner- Nuclear Power (Obama)- Voted for because largest investment in clean energy that we have ever seen, need to decrease dependence on foreign oil, nuclear- need to figure out way to have safe, cost-efficient, can store effectively, if we can, we need to produce it, create menu of energy options, cap and trade system.
Same ? (Clinton)- Cheney and lobbyist bill, tilted towards special interests, need to break lock of special interests (*like Obama’s plan*) , energy fund needs to be created, take away subsidies, 2005 Energy Bill was step backwards for clean energy- I agree- bad move Obama- I expect this issue to come up again…
Against Nuclear Power (Edwards)- nuclear power not answer, beyond wind and solar, need to increase investment, agree with HRC and BO- important to break grip of gas and oil- but HRC has raised more money from those people than any other candidate, need cap on carbon emissions, 80% by 2050, below cap make people pay, investment of those payments, goes beyond- moratorium on coal-fired power plants.
Rebut. (Clinton)- Energy plan not on nuclear power, no coal-powered unless most modern, clean tech., massive effort, America we can make this change (*Obama line*).
Rebut. (Obama)- Need to talk about reducing consumption of energy- ordinary citizens can make a change.
Problem with English as Official Language (Edwards)- Need immigration reform, need path to citizenship for illegal immigrants- earn citizenship, requirements to earn citizenship- if illegal: need payment of fine, learn English, need to help with that process.
Clinton Pollster: Hispanic Voters Don’t Support Black Candidates (Clinton)- No, bring people together (*Race thing again, anti-Obama HRC campaign comment, Obama issue of bringing people together*).
History of Division (Obama)- “No, not in IL, they voted for me”, Latino voters know commitment to them = gravitate towards them, immigration- with Ted Kennedy and John McCain to have comprehensive plan, leadership he’s shown, advocate even if politically tough.
100 Black Men of America- High Drop Out of Black Males (Obama)- Similar to Latinos, start school behind- early childhood edu., NCLB fixing, reward teachers. Have good answers, but no sense of urgency in White House. Need to have parents take their job seriously- especially African-American fathers.
Follow-Up (Clinton)- Commend Barack, has to start in family, 35 years shit again, commend 100 Black Men b/c worked with them to create Eagle School, involvement in community.
Follow-Up (Edwards)- Universal Pre-K, huge dropout rate- need to create 2nd chance schools.
Gun Deaths, Leading Cause of Death for Young Black Men, Illegal Guns (Clinton)- Against illegal guns- cause of death and injury. Political realist (*take that Obama*), don’t want Fed. preempting cities. Need good national registry that is timely, crackdown on illegal gun dealers, enforce laws on books, reinstate assault weapons bans. Work together (*another Obama key*).
Licensing and Registering Guns and Gunowners (Obama)- Common sense enforcement, trace guns back to illegal gun dealers, lawful gun ownership vs. illegal- make sure 2nd Amendment is respected but cracking down on abuses.
Licensing and Registering (Edwards)- Against, need to protect 2nd Amendment rights, need assault weapons ban, need President that understands lawful gun use.
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Fear Card- AlQaida Will Watch Our Elections, Hiring President to Be There When Chips Are Down (Clinton)- Fact- face dangerous adversary, next president needs to be prepared, enemy will take advantage of us, homeland security- duty of president to protect and defend, voters need to make that decision, I am prepared to do this.
National Security, Won’t Use 9/11 as a Hook (Obama)- Dominated by politics of fear since 9/11, understandable, Clinton uses spector of terrorist attack of new PM shows use of fear of terrorism- mistake, don’t want to perpetuate fear, honest and straightforward with American people about stopping terrorism.
Terrorist Won’t Test Obama More Than Clinton Right? *Yes, this is what she was trying to get across* (Clinton)- Fact about PM, matters who’s president b/c have constant need for preparedness.
Foreign Policy, Called Musharraf (Edwards)- Called Pakistani ambassador, wanted to say to him: have to continue on democratization, must allow int’l investigators, open and fair elections need to take place.
Decision to Run is Most Important, When Did You Decide (All)
(Clinton)- New Years, needs to be done, solutions business (*Obama cue*), thanks to all.
(Edwards)- December, cause of our lives- middle class and having everyone to have the chances he has had, personal campaign.
(Obama)- December, can family survive campaign? something to provide the country, do more effectively- bring country together, speak honestly with people, bring Americans into process of change.
Obama got the last word and ended on a high note. As for who won- let’s let those wonderful pundit predict- or at least someone with more campaign experience than myself.