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The Democratic Party's Nomination Mess


Workers try to set the stage for the Democratic National Convention in 2004. (Nate Parsons/The Washington Post.)

By Dan Balz
Democratic Party leaders must desperately hope by now that the voters in Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania and the other remaining states with primaries and caucuses resolve the nomination battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. For there is no clean way out of the chaos that could occur if they don't.

Almost every aspect of the way Democrats select their nominees has come under criticism. The calendar is a mess, with too many contests stuffed too early in the year. The proportional distribution of delegates in primaries and caucuses does little to reward winners. The role of unpledged superdelegates seems anti-democratic to some, entirely appropriate to others. Now even the role of pledged delegates seems up in the air.

The Clinton and Obama campaigns began another sparring match over the rules Tuesday morning, as voters in Wisconsin were heading to the polls, after a headline-grabbing column by Roger Simon of politico.com. Simon quoted an unnamed Clinton official as saying that, if the nomination battle is still unresolved after the primaries end on June 7, the campaign would seek to convert delegates supposedly pledged to Obama. The rules do allow this, which begs the question of why they are called "pledged" delegates.

Nobody likes the rules this year, and by the time this battle is over, people may question whether there are any rules at all. All the candidates complained about the front-loaded calendar and the gamesmanship among the states for preeminence in the first weeks of the year.

Obama has sought to reinvent the role of superdelegates. Clinton has complained about the caucuses, where, she and her husband have noted repeatedly, not everybody can participate because they are held at specific hours of the day. This despite the fact that the Clinton campaign owned the party machinery for eight years and had agents inside the Democratic National Committee as the rules for 2008 were being ratified -- unlike the Obama campaign, which wasn't even a campaign at the time of those debates.

The rules of proportionality, which distribute delegates based on the percentage of vote won in a state or legislative district, make it more difficult for winners to gain a significant edge early in the process, or for trailing candidates to catch up late in the process. Winning, in other words, carries no special rewards unless the margins are more than 25 percentage points.

The party has Jesse L. Jackson to thank for that system. With Harold Ickes, now Clinton's delegate supremo, as his lead negotiator, Jackson extracted this price from 1988 nominee Michael S. Dukakis in order to assure a placid convention. Dukakis, with the help of his negotiator Tad Devine, was willing to do so because he believed that, if he were to become president, the proportional rules would make it easier to fend off a primary challenge four years later.

Obama has sought to hector superdelegates by suggesting that they dare not vote against the will of the people, though the superdelegates were made a part of the nominating process after the bitter campaign between Jimmy Carter and Ted Kennedy in 1980 to exercise independent judgment, if necessary.

Then-Gov. James Hunt of North Carolina, who chaired the commission that wrote the rules governing the nomination process, made clear the role of superdelegates as envisioned by many elected officials in the party.

"We must also give our convention more flexibility to respond to changing circumstances and, in cases where the voters' mandate is less than clear, to make a reasoned choice," he said then, according to a doctoral dissertation written in 1986 by Elaine Kamarck, who is now a member of the DNC.

Kamarck's history is instructive today. The Clinton campaign's provocative threat to go after pledged delegates does fall within the rules as constituted after 1980. If the Obama campaign finds this offensive, it should point its ire at Kennedy, who of course is Obama's most prominent endorser.

At the 1980 convention, Kennedy's forces sought to go after delegates pledged to Carter. Then the rules binding pledged delegates were seemingly airtight. Kennedy tried to challenge the rule.

After that battle, the Hunt commission changed the rule, known as Rule 11 (H). The new wording read, "Delegates elected to the national convention pledged to a presidential candidate shall in all good conscience reflect the sentiments of those who elect them." Kamarck notes that this rule, now known as Rule 12 (J), governs the 2008 nominating process.

That means either campaign would be within the rules, if not necessarily within the spirit of the times, to persuade these pledged delegates to change their minds. But such a strategy would risk a major rupture within the party.

Then there is the controversy over Michigan and Florida and their banned delegations, which Clinton now wants to seat and the Obama campaign is resisting. Clinton initially accepted the rules barring those delegations and now has changed her mind because she won the popular vote in the beauty-contest primaries in both states. Obama, of course, wasn't on the Michigan ballot, and neither Clinton nor Obama campaigned in Florida.

Peter Hart, the veteran Democratic pollster, has a simple proposal on all this. "Either take all the rules or none of the rules," he said. What candidates should not do, he argued, is pick and choose, as they are now doing. That makes sense, but it also requires a strong hand to oversee the multiple skirmishes that are taking place. That's why Democratic leaders hope voters sort this out before summer.

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 19, 2008; 1:31 PM ET
Categories:  Dan Balz's Take  
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Comments

Posted by: Anonymous | May 12, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Proportional allocation of delegates is not the problem--I went back and re-counted each contest as if it were a winner-take-all and guess what? Obama would lead Hillary 1096 to 1075 in pledged delegates at this point--incredibly close. If each state's superdelegates were also included in a winner-take-all format, it would still be too close to call: 1396 for Obama and 1325 for Hillary.
There is no delegate allocation system that can overcome an election this tight, with each candidate taking some major states.

Posted by: xcurmudgeon | February 19, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Please, please, please, Barry, win the nomination.

You Democrats think you know, but you have no idea. Right now, you have people looking for a reason to vote against Hillary Clinton.

Come election time, people start to realize that they're voting for a commander-in-chief. Barry ain't gonna cut it. McCain is a reasonable alternative, appealing to independents and moderate Democrats.

The mass exodus will cystalize in October. Obama better have about a 10 point lead going into October because if the election is close, he's dead. White voters will flock to McCain when it gets closer to decision time. Count on it.

Posted by: ds11 | February 19, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

She's such a fake. Tonight her handlers are going to have her pushing a new message . . . she's going to say it's not about me and my opponent, it's about you, your dreams, you future. Then she's going to say it's a dangerous world and she's the one ready to lead us, and throw some line in there about how she is the one to beat republicans.

The only problem? None of it is true. She needs a teleprompter to deliver it. I don't think she will be able to fool Texas and Ohio. There is no way she can win in November, half the country already dislikes here and she's doing her best to anger the other half.

Posted by: brooksofsheffield | February 19, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

ermias.kifle wrote:
"For the first time in my adult lifetime, I'm proud of my country"

kat7 wrote:
"Michele Obama said on American Television: 'This is the first time in my adult life that I can say I am proud of my country'."

DaTourist wrote:
"What will it take to make Michelle proud of her country for THE FIRST TIME in her adult life?"

Nice tries, people (are you all Rovian RNC plants?), but if you are going to 'quote' someone, please quote them correctly.

Michelle Obama stated ""For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country."

Do not gloss over the word 'REALLY'.

An analogy:

You are proud of your family. Let's say one child graduates from high school just within the top 50% of the class. You're proud of your child, but know that child can do better.

That child goes on to college, and graduates within the top 15% of the class. You're proud of your child, but know that child can do better.

That same child then goes on to grad school, and gets a Masters degree, followed by a Doctorate.

I think you would say that you are now REALLY proud of your child.

Posted by: critter69 | February 19, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Plagiarize.

From Merriam-Webster:

"to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own"

The second and third words of the definition are critical.

To 'steal' means to take without the other party knowing, and thus without permission. Deval Patrick gave Barack Obama permission to use the words. If Barack Obama had permission to use the words, he DID NOT steal the words.

Since Barack Obama did not steal the words (he was given permission to use them by Deval Patrick, remember?), the rest of the sentence then becomes moot, because the word 'and' connects the word steal with the rest of the definition. If there is no theft, the word 'and' becomes moot.

Posted by: critter69 | February 19, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't see a problem with having a candidate selection process that actually lets citizens have a voice in the process. One thing that people haven't figured out is that the internet fundraising is one of the key reasons that Obama has been able to launch his insurgency. In the old days, candidates would concede because they couldn't raise money anymore. With the internet all that has changed. Just as Clinton schooled Bush ( with a little help from Perot), Obama is schooling Hillary in the new approach to money raising.

Posted by: jdavid61 | February 19, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

One more thought - if it was Nancy Pelosi, I really respect her and admire her. She is a self-made individual - well-grounded, mature, intellectual and courageous to go to Syria, just to shock the conservatives- I really appreciate her liberal views and actions- more than anything she is fearless in her convictions. I was watching her on TV the other day -so balanced and mature. My vote would be for her if she every decides to contest.

These guys have been on the stage for just too long. If you really want a woman President - let us find a well qualified and mature person - as for example Condelezza Rice - she is quiet and does her job to success- whatever she does.. every other woman seems better qualified when each wart and mole is so visible by simply being on the stage for just too long. Let us circulate our elite.

Posted by: mdsubramonia | February 19, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

It's not, as Balz has it, the rule of proportionality that prevents a winner from emerging. It's the existence of the unelected delegates. With only two candidates in the race, one of them would reach a majority as soon as the primaries and caucuses were over, if not sooner. But the superdelegates hold a FIFTH! of the delegate votes in reserve in case they're needed for rigging the nomination.

Posted by: DennisCMyers | February 19, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

And now we have the opportunity to have a first lady who wasn't even proud to be an American until today. Virtually asleep at the switch for the last forty years.

Dems seem to have a lot of unresolved issues.

Posted by: magellan1 | February 19, 2008 7:19 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what this confusion is all about. If either of them loses the primary, he or she can always contest as an independent. If the party cannot resolve these issues amicably and to mutual satisfaction let the American electorate decide.

Let them stop bickering on technicalities and focus on real issues which affect the electorate.

The way they are getting embroiled in petty squabbling - the electorate would see the wisdom of voting a sensible and mature Republican who can be bi-partisan from their side, who is just waiting in the wings.

Americans, who are truly conservative at heart may simply decide to go Republican once more much to the chagrin of the petty-minded.

You are under watch- in the glare of the public eye - so watch your step..everyone.

Posted by: mdsubramonia | February 19, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Until this week I was leaning toward voting for Hillary Clinton. However, her pettiness and polarizing character has completely turned me off. She has begun to find little meaningless things to to say about her opponent. She is desperate and I no longer trust her character. I wanted to hear from her more substantive messages about her and how she is the better candidate. Instead I get pettiness. I find it a turn off that she is now doing and saying anything just to get in office. It makes me question her character and her the willingness to serve the people for the people and not just for the sake of Billary. I see too much Bill in who she has become and I don't like it. If she wins, I will not be voting for her in the general election. I will become a DEM for McCain.

Posted by: friendlyfire | February 19, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Whoa!

Democrats abandon liberalism for anarchy!

It'll be the 1968 Chicago Convention deja vu!

Posted by: DaTourist | February 19, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

A hidden reason the lopsided Obama/Clinton experience argument has so far been won by Obama is that she's a woman, and so her own experience can be easily dismissed. Obama himself tried this tack in December, when he likened Clinton's unprecedented foreign travels as first lady to having "tea" in the "ambassador's house." In fact, Clinton traveled to refugee camps, impoverished villages, remote health clinics and other venues far less comfortable than any embassy.

McCain cannot be cut down to size in this way. The political biography he brings to the race automatically will remind voters that they are choosing a commander in chief. In the primaries, Obama has countered the commander in chief argument with assertions that Clinton's vote for the Iraq War is disqualifying. It has worked among Democratic voters who have long opposed the Iraq misadventure.

The general electorate is not as inflamed about that 2002 vote as Democratic activists are. Voters in November really will make a judgment about the future -- who can best manage the Iraq mess -- and not the past.

Posted by: lndlouis | February 19, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

If Florida Democrats vote for McCain in November 2008, that will send a message to the DNC about disenfranchising the Florida Democrats, and Florida Democrats will never have be ashamed of their Keystone-cops party ever again!

Posted by: DaTourist | February 19, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

1) No superdelegates. That's definitely not democratic.
2) Stop primary by state. It upsets the decisions of the later voting states.
3) Suggestion: Do the primaries according to the day of the month that voters are born. Two primaries a week, 15 weeks, all done.

Cheers,
Alan

Posted by: AlanBrowne | February 19, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

The rules for delegates and superdelegates are actually NOT confusing. If the Clinton and Obama camps would simply honor the letter and spirit of the rules, we have no problem.

1) SuperDelegates were created precisely to balance the wisdom of party leaders with the will of the people. It is their duty to go against the popular vote if that is indeed their independent judgement. The Obama people must respect this reality and stop making irresponsible threats.

2) Clinton is clearly out of line in suggesting that the votes in Michigan or Florida should be honored. Those delegations should be formed and seated, somehow, but certainly not on the basis of a vote that all parties agreed should be ignored.

3) Regarding poaching of pledge delegates: that seems to be a bogus story. The Clinton campaign has unequivocally stated they will not be lobbying pledged delegates.

Posted by: HuckFinn | February 19, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

EVIL, pure EVIL!

MSNBC is reporting that Hillary campaign is now going after Obama's PLEDGED DELEGATES.

There is no bound to the sliminess of this couple and their backers.

Posted by: dogsbestfriend | February 19, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

If Obama knows what's good for him, Obama will concede to Hillary before the Ice Mammy makes him bend over and take a big icicle up the ol' Hershey hole!

Aint Democrats great!

Posted by: DaTourist | February 19, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

At the last moment, when Obama's got his UNPLAGIARIZED acceptance speech all ready, and Michelle's feeling specially proud of her country for the first time in her adult life, Hillary and the Clinton Machine will snatch the nomination away, and Bill will elbow Michelle off the stage at Denver!

Aint Democrats great!

Posted by: DaTourist | February 19, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

.

SEE svreader ! SEE svreader ! SEE svreader !


Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Hillary Rove is at it Again!

SEE svreader ! SEE svreader ! SEE svreader !

.

Posted by: LeftwithNochoice | February 19, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

no loyal democrat will vote for mc cain

babies who spew utlimatums will vote for mc cain but loyal democrats will vote for the democratic nominee

do you really think that anyone here is ging to change their vote because you have a hissy if your candidate doesn't win

i personally do not like obama but will vote for him to support my party

after this election, no matter who wins i am changing to independent because i really don't like the way either campaign is being run

i just like the republicans less

at least we clinton supporters know that the dems need to take back the white house and we are willing to put our egos aside to accomplish a common goal

obama posters here just spew hate and don't accomplish anything except to make obama look bad, and i might had your doing a heck of a job

so please obamamintes - leave the party - your like trailer park trash and you are embarassing

the republicans are not acting like this on their posts

Posted by: lndlouis | February 19, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Lemme ax you a question!

Can a black candidate plagiarize ebonics? Whaddaya think?

Posted by: DaTourist | February 19, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Rove is at it Again !
Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Hillary Rove is at it Again!Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Posted by: LeftwithNochoice | February 19, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Obama sez black-on-black plagiarism is no big deal.

Patrick sez he gave Obama permission to plagiarize.

Patrick's for gay marriage. Obama's not.

Obama and Patrick agree on most things, but...but...but...butt....

Posted by: DaTourist | February 19, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Hillary sez it's Obama's fault!

Obama sez it's Hillary's fault!

Bill sez it's Michelle's fault!

Michelle sez she's proud of her country for the first time in her adult life!

What does Chelea say?

Posted by: DaTourist | February 19, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

What will it take to make Michelle proud of her country for THE FIRST TIME in her adult life?

Did she really say that?

Does she deny saying that?

Posted by: DaTourist | February 19, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

If (as all acknowledge)the Democrats have made a mess of the nomination, what kind of mess would the Democrats make of the country?

Can we trust these Keystone-cop Democrats outside a halfway house?

Posted by: DaTourist | February 19, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

If the Democrat party is to remain viable, then the rules, unless changed by mutual consent, should not be changed until AFTER the nomination.
The idea of super delegates is sound. These people, most of whom have been elected to office for substancial periods of time, represent the core of the party. These are the ones who have paid the dues.
The Super Delegates are the builders of the party and should have a substancial voice.

Posted by: peterroach | February 19, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

The Democrat Party is not in dissaray when they are in their normal organized grab-ass mode.

Posted by: speedycampbell | February 19, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

It is sad to have to point out grammatical errors by the WASHINGTON POST, but the words are "Democrat Party" - not Democratic party.

The word democratic is a word reserved for expressions concerning the Republican Party.

Jimbo

Posted by: speedycampbell | February 19, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

there's a provocative suggestion for a pre-convention deal that would take care of 2008 AND 2012 posted on the website:
http://www.ampolo.com

Posted by: fifes5 | February 19, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

If the Democratic Party wants to pick a winner now, why even bother to have primaries or caucases after March, I live in Pa. and if the race stays as close as it is and I don't get to vote I will be ticked. Let this play out and let the voters pick the candidate not the Dem. party or the Obama camp. The press is trying to run this race and they need to stop. Just look at the opinion page in the post and in the last month how many Clinton bashing articles there have been and how many praising articles about Obama. Let the American people pick the candidate!!!!!

Posted by: Sa1950 | February 19, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

The problem is that our numbnut voters and apparently some columnists have completely lost their way. The media treats elections like everything else - personality and form over function and substance. The Democrats are actually practicing a form of democracy as opposed to the Republicans who only know how to behave like lemmings as soon as they can identify a cliff to fall over. Vetting candidates is what the process is all about - not making it convenient for the media to move elections off the front page and get back to Brittany and Paris. I know its tough, but fight the urge - you might actually learn something...

Posted by: cmaexecutive | February 19, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

how could the democrats be so stupid as to disenfranchise voters

in florida of all places, red neck country (sorry to all the non rednecks, but have you ever been there)

well, kiss the election goodbye if we do not honor all democrats votes

butttttttt --- we have to follow the rules

well most of us do unless we get a free hall pass

Posted by: lndlouis | February 19, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

so, obama ran ads in florida
obama says florida voters don't matter
is this a smart democrat

but he left name on ballot in case he won to go back later and get the delegates, otherwise he would have had his name removed

here comes the shredder

Posted by: lndlouis | February 19, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

from a january 2008 article from a florida paper

The Democratic boycott of Florida's presidential primary was fraying Monday as the Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign cast Barack Obama as an untrustworthy promise breaker for airing a TV ad in Florida, along with the 49 other states.

"Words matter, promises matter and pledges matter," former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, a Clinton backer, said in a conference call Monday accusing Obama of breaking his signed oath not to campaign in Florida. "It calls into question the promises and pledges he's made on the campaign trail."

The pro-Obama ad started airing nationwide -- including in Florida -- on MSNBC and CNN, and the Clinton campaign charged that it violates the oath against "purchasing print, Internet, or electronic advertising that reaches a significant percentage of the voters in the aforementioned state."

Nonsense, said the Obama campaign. The cable networks could not eliminate Florida from the national buy, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said, so the campaign sought and received permission from South Carolina Democratic chairwoman Carol Fowler.

Saying all bets are off with the new nationwide spot, the Clinton campaign left open the possibility of starting a traditional campaign in Florida where polls show her leading Obama.

"If the Clinton campaign wants to campaign in Florida and ignore the pledge they signed, they'll be running the wrong way around the track because there are no delegates at stake," said Plouffe, who argues the Democratic vote next Tuesday in Florida will be meaningless without delegates awarded and any Florida campaigning.

The latest skirmish between the Obama and Clinton campaigns underscores the increasing testiness of the Democratic contest and cockeyed position in which it has placed the Democrats in America's biggest battleground state. Already the candidates have spent months refusing to talk to Florida voters, except those attending fundraising receptions.

The controversy stems from the Legislature's decision last year to schedule an early primary in an effort to give Florida more influence on the presidential nominating process.

The national party allows only a handful of states to hold elections before Feb. 5, and the Democratic National Committee voted to strip all of Florida's delegates to the national convention. What's more, Democratic leaders in the early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina persuaded all the leading Democrats to take an oath to do no campaigning in Florida except raising money.

Thus, Monday's spat. Now, one week before Florida's primary, the Sunshine state has become a political football, with Obama casting Florida as essentially irrelevant in the Democratic primary and Clinton trying to elevate its importance.

Winning the nomination requires winning enough delegates, but discounting votes in a battleground state where "count every vote" has real meaning, is politically sticky. When the Obama campaign last week put out a memo saying Florida voters have no bearing on the nomination, Clinton allies accused Obama of disenfranchising voters.

"It's the height of hypocrisy," former Tampa Mayor Sandy Freedman, a Clinton supporter, said of the new ad touting Obama's life story. "One day Florida's not important and he's never going to violate the pledge, and now all of a sudden he's got an ad running in Florida."

Another top Clinton supporter in Florida, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, told reporters on a conference call that prominent Obama supporters have been trying to suppress the vote in Florida, though she would not name names.

Obama's Florida chairman, Rep. Robert Wexler of Boca Raton, has been in the awkward position of dismissing the importance of Florida's Democratic primary vote and standing by Obama's boycott of the state. He said Monday he detests the DNC's stripping away Florida's Democratic delegates, but ultimately delegates matter.

"All the candidates made a pledge, and I hope all the candidates will keep that pledge," he said of the boycott of Florida's primary.

Posted by: lndlouis | February 19, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Michele Obama said on American Television: "This is the first time in my adult life that I can say I am proud of my country".

Why she hated America so much?

Very disturbing!

Posted by: kat7 | February 19, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Prediction Time;

The voters of Wisconsin, Texas, and Ohio are going to reject Hillary's petty politics.

There's Obama, trying to raise the bar for our nation, and there's Hillary, making petty attacks on Obama her platform.

She's ran the worst campaign I've ever seen. She's THe Great Divider, without much political sense as far as the nation can tell..
And running on solutions? That begs the question as what she has done as a Senator.

Which is nothing, a far cry from her promise fest of the last desperate week.

Obamites rest easy. Hillary is her own worst enemy.

Posted by: robertell | February 19, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

A "100 year war in Iraq" - or Hillary Clinton as President?

Which do you prefer? It's a tough choice.

http://www.Sherlock-Holmes.co.uk

Posted by: londonlinks | February 19, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Who would you fear more, if you were a terrorist?


A little white lady or a big tough talking black guy?


Simple logic.............


Terrorist fear anyone? You do not understand what logic is and please go back to school and learn it. The only thing they fear is reason, which is in deficit in this country.

Posted by: sgr_astar | February 19, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

The final assessment of this article certainly is not fair. Obama has not tried to change a single rule in this nomination process. He has urged super delegates to follow their constituencies, but this is not against the rules or in any way threatening them. Only Hillary Clinton has tried to pick and choose the rules that will help her win. Although 'poaching' pledged delegates may be allowed within the rules, I think ultimately it will turn out badly for her. It's a sign of her desperation and unrestrained ambition. If she tries to do this and fights this out to the bitter end, even with fewer pledged delegates, she will be doing a disservice to the Democratic Party and the American people. She needs to be willing to bow out gracefully, but I doubt she has that kind of class.

Posted by: terrapin_tony | February 19, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Keep it up with the Clinton Bashing, Obama-nuts, and we'll make sure nobody ever forgets your candidate was a major league coke-fiend.

It almost going to be worth losing the election to the Republicans just to see Obama and his supporters egos cut down to size.


Posted by: svreader | February 19, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Who would you fear more, if you were a terrorist?


A little white lady or a big tough talking black guy?


Simple logic.............

Posted by: im_timmaaay | February 19, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

"For the first time in my adult lifetime, I'm proud of my country"


The first time??
how about almost a Million $$$ a year income?
How about sending your kids to Private school - the cost is higher than most American family yearly income?
How about the Victory over the secon World war?
How about a victory over Soviet Union?
How about the Civil right movement?
How about civil war?

The first time? hmmmm

Posted by: ermias.kifle | February 19, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Since so far we have not seen a noble candidate who can show some leadership, it is time for the party leaders to do something. This is not a mess, this is a crisis. You cannot expect voters to make the choice here. It requires leadership. The time for a compromise is NOW!

Posted by: sgr_astar | February 19, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

With the way the Clintons handled Waco / Mt. Carmel, maybe they will bring back the use of Napalm. Who knows, we might be able to burn the entire Middle East down into cinders and start over.

Posted by: im_timmaaay | February 19, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Obama could have part of a combined ticket that would have been unbeatable.

Instead, he spent all his time and effort bashing the Clintons.

Clinton supporters will neither forgive or forget.

If Obama gets the nomination, McCain gets the whitehouse, even if all we do is just stay home in protest for how dirty a campaign Obama and his supporters have run.

Posted by: svreader | February 19, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

We only get to pick from the criminals that the MSM choose for us... The Washington Post has a lot of nerve, saying the Democrats have made a mess of things!!!

Of all people the MSM promote Hillary-the-Lobbyist-Pig and they want to blame someone else.

WWWWWWWWHAT-EVER!

Posted by: im_timmaaay | February 19, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

svreader: I feel bad that you are upset that your dream of Clinton walking into the White House without having to work for it is dead.

By her own admission, she stated that this race would be over by 2/5. This doesn't show great planning by someone who will run a $4 trillion dollar budget if she wins.

Also, what about when the media was shoving Clinton down our throats as the inevitable nominee in late 2007? Was that ok with you?

Just in case you didn't pay attention in civics class, this is a democracy. We vote for whom **we** choose, not for whom **you** want us to choose.


You might want to read this:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/national.html

If Obama wins by more than 5 points today in Wisconsin, it's over! Demographics and previous polls had Clinton up by as much as 20% points.

Sad day for the old establishment. Great day for the new leadership!

Obama 08!

Posted by: comingawakening | February 19, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

What a surprise, the divisive one (Hillary) has made a mess of the nomination. Everything the Clinton's touch seems to get messy. From Monica's dress to the race for the Presidency. Hillary is now supported by the poor, dumb, and old. But even they can see what a fraud she is.

Posted by: robertell | February 19, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I am a registered Democrat in Pennsylvania and am hoping to cast a vote for Obama in our primary in April. I dread the ads that Clintonia will drop on us during that month. I dread the thought of having to vote Republican if she finagles her way into the nomination. But if it's a contest on who is the better person, HRC ranks third behind Obama and McCain...third by a long distance. I'll end up doing what I wish I could have done in 1996, voting for the better person. Bob Dole was infinitely morally superior to Bubba, yet I didn't want to give Speaker Gingrich a president of his party...so I held my nose and voted for the venal Bill Clinton. I hope to avoid that mistake a second time!!

Posted by: al_jal | February 19, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I've done the math.

Clinton can have Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia all by 6% margins.

Obama can have Wisconsin, Hawaii, North Carolina, Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana, Mississippi, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Puerto Rico all by 6% (the same) margins.

Obama will still be up in delegates by 100+. Do the math. All of the delegate counts are at realclearpolitics.com.

Based on polls and the geographical results we've seen, I think the states I've given both of them are more than fair, especially considering that Obama will win North Carolina, Hawaii, Wyoming, South Dakota, Oregon and Puerto Rico by much, much larger margins than 6%, and now it's looking (by the polls) that Obama will do better in Texas than we originally thought.

But I wanted to give them small margins to keep it competitive. For Hillary to win this nomination battle, she would literally have to convince the super delegates to overturn the popular vote and the pledged delegate count, which simply won't happen. Good night Hillary.

Posted by: thecrisis | February 19, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Those who recoil at the words "President McCain" had better wake up. Hillary is waging a scorched earth campaign that will engulf us all. If McCain wins, Hillary can try again in 2012...and she knows it.

Posted by: gmundenat | February 19, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

The role of super-delegates is: "We must also give our convention more flexibility to respond to changing circumstances and, in cases where the voters' mandate is less than clear, to make a reasoned choice."

1. So far there has been no change in circumstance that would seem to disqualify either candidate.

2. For Clinton, it would seem that the voter's mandate has only been clear in TN, AR, OK, NY and maybe NJ & MA. You would have to analyze the 2 million early votes in CA and normalize for demographics (to verify there was no momentum change against Clinton) before you could even began to claim CA had a clear mandate. In most of Obama's wins, however, the mandate has been quite clear.

If you believe the role of super-delegates is to keep the party from nominating Dennis Kucinich, then wouldn't the candidate who is strongest with Independents or those pesky white males who tend to vote Republican be the best choice?

As for caucus states, is Clinton claiming that her supporters work odd hours, barely scraping by, while Obama only draws from the idle rich? I must have missed that dual NAACP-Club for Growth endorsement for Obama. Perhaps if she had tried to campaign in all the states - or better yet, she can run on a dual ticket with Obama and if they win, she'll be President of NY, MA, NJ, OH, TX, FL & CA and Obama can be President of the rest of the country.

The Clintons have had a role in making the rules since Billy won in 92. When you have the chance to tilt the rules in your favor and either don't, or don't bother, then it is more than unseemly to complain when you start to lose.

Posted by: caribis | February 19, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

The Democrat super delegates hold the future of the Democrat Party in their hands. Either they respect the vote of the people or they don't.

The Democrats had almost 8-million more people participate in the 2008 primaries and caucuses compared to 2004. There were almost 6-million more Democrats participate in 2008 compared to 2000.

Nearly all of these newcomers in 2008 were young first time voters, independents, and yes, even some Republicans (my wife and me).

So...super delegates, make of your Party what you will...either you have integrity or you don't.

Posted by: Vunderlutz | February 19, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

This election is about cleaning up the mess that Bush and the worthless congress of the last seven years made. Hillary has turned pointless with her stupid attack ads...she almost sounds like her friend...John Mccain. Experience like that is what got this country in this mess. Ignorant distracting fights about things that really don't matter (gay marriage, abortion...yeah 4 years later...just like the previous 20 before it...nothing) while we dumped a lot of money and lost and injured a lot of great Americans in a pointless war, outsourced our futures, and let the economy tank. Maybe some common sense and less division can get us out of this mess. Yeah I hope...I hope we get it right this time...FINALLY!

Posted by: scrappyc20001 | February 19, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

EVERYONE TAKE A LOOK AT THIS!!! MORE BAD NEWS ABOUT OBAMA.http://www.nysun.com/article/71421

Posted by: tlarsen6 | February 19, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Which just goes to show that the "fair" Democratic Party doesn't trust its voters. Which raises the spectre of Obama winning the popular vote and Billary getting the "nod" in the end. What a party.

Posted by: birvin9999 | February 19, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Dems should scrap the super-delegates and use a winner-takes-all approach for each state. I'm tired of hearing super delegates boast about how they've earned their stripes by knocking on doors. The use of super-delegates is about as undemocratic as the electoral college. Also, since today's politicians spend half their time raising money, a winner-take-all system would make Dems more competitive with filthy rich Repub candidates who are only concerned about launching their next fascist regime. Count how many times McCain can say "Islamic extremists" while Hillary and Obama battle it out. Howard Dean mentioned that the DNC will have to analyze the situation in April, if a Dem candidate hasn't won by then. Er, it's called more primaries. The system itself needs an overhaul.

Posted by: con_crusher | February 19, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

The more the Dems Keep fighting, the better the chances the Repubs take the white house. As a McCain supporter, I would love to see HRC win. She will stand no chance in a general election against McCain.

Posted by: hbplayabs | February 19, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

"Then there is the controversy over Michigan and Florida and their banned delegations, which Clinton now wants to seat and the Obama campaign is resisting. Clinton initially accepted the rules barring those delegations and now has changed her mind because she won the popular vote in the beauty-contest primaries in both states. Obama, of course, wasn't on the Michigan ballot, and neither Clinton nor Obama campaigned in Florida."

The great Clinton flip flop over seating delegates from Michigan and Florida is treated by the press as hardly notable, yet when Obama uses lines from another politician WITH PERMISSION, its labeled as plagiarism.

Strange how the media's candidate, now seen as losing the nomination of her party still manages to have all the press go in her favor.

For the last 2 days the press has been making huge stories about Clinton's claim that Obama plagiarized another politician, despite the lack of truth to the allegation. Apparently, no one in the Clinton campaign cares about the definition of plagiarism, as long as the accusation gets publicity.

In the mean time, we have Clinton now willing to allow Michigan and Florida delegates to be seated at the convention despite her agreement with the rules which eliminated them if they moved their primaries.

This suited Clinton just fine when she was the front runner, but now that she is perceived as losing, well, she wants to flip flop and have the delegates seated.

Yet another example of how Clinton is so driven to accumulate power that she is willing to allow rules she once supported to be bent because it suits her needs now.

Its no wonder so many Democrats are lining up behind Obama, as he truly is the candidate of change while Clinton remains the candidate of the same old status quo.

Hopefully, the next wave of primaries will give the definitive edge to Obama, and we can begin to see a clearing of obstacles to change like Hillary Clinton.

Posted by: ricroe | February 19, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I do wish someone would explain something to me, I want to know why every thing that happens is so bad if some one even thinks Hillary Cinton might gain an advantage from it, but obama is just helping himself. The press has turned this primary election into a clinton versus {press} us campaign & I for one think it is disgusting by the press!

Posted by: jrs6776 | February 19, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

For those who think that Independents will vote for McCain in the general election, I'd point out that they break down 75% lean Democrat and 25% lean Republican, but the most important statistic is that no matter which party they lean toward, they are VERY anti-Iraq War. WHich means that very few are likely going to vote for the guy who wants to stay in Iraq for 100 years.

Posted by: smeesq | February 19, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Hillary: nasty.

Go home.

Posted by: alarico | February 19, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

The roll of the super delegates is to over rule the popular vote for a candidate the party elite might not like. In other words the heck with the ordinary Democrat voter, the supers know best. What place does this system have in a democratic election? Now Mr. and Mrs. Clinton are going after Obama's "pledged" delegates. What a mess! The people might vote for Obama, only to watch the Clinton machine turn the delegates to Hillary. I can't wait for the Democrat convention. No reality show is going to top this.

Posted by: saelij | February 19, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

"Obamas non-stop character attacks on the Clintons will cost him the election if he gets the nomination.

That's a promise from every Clinton supporter I know.

We're sick and tired of having Obama shoved down our throat.

We're even more sick and tired of **repeated below-the-belt character attacks from an acknowledged coke-head** and his moonie friends.

Posted by: svreader | February 19, 2008 02:42 PM"

r u srsly? I can't tell if you're channelling Mark Penn having a bad afternoon or you're trying to be humorous.

Why don't you give an example of one of the "below-the-belt" character attacks anywhere *ear* as tasteless as Andrew Cuomo's "shuckin 'n' jivin", the current "its teh plagarizm stupid11!" or your own lovely example of a moron's decent into the world of the lowest common denominator emphasized above.

Go ahead, put down the Xanax and list one attack on par with what Clinton and her surrogates have done. I dare you.

Posted by: dion679 | February 19, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Superdelegates- the Plantation Masters of the Democrat Party

Posted by: JaxMax | February 19, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Gee..........so much for the "dumbing down" of America. If obama wins.....more to come (it's expected). Everybody's grandchildren will be enrolled into "charter schools". Isn't that great!!!!!! Learn ebonics, history of the black man, how to have kids without paying support, how to make whitey pay for their great, great, great, great, etc. great grand father's actions... more to come.....

Posted by: lindafranke1952 | February 19, 2008 04:14 PM
***********************
wow...maybe you should lay off the moonshine..or use to clean your trailer..after your meth induced stupor lets up...unless your son from your third husband whips up a batch...unless he's been arrested again for possession...or a fight at a bar...where he went to get yer smokes...

any more stereotypes to fit in a post?

Posted by: LABC | February 19, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Strange how no one is suggesting that Obama should do the "noble thing" or "what's best for the party" and bow out of the race...

Why is that?

People talk about Hillary Clinton like she's a joke, so woefully behind as to merit comparison with Ron Paul. The facts are that the two candidates are running neck-and-neck. Polls vary slightly, but all-in-all, this is a close race.

Posted by: VegetablesPlease | February 19, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Come on my fellow Dems don't dicker around and screw this up otherwise McCain will get the Oval Office and that is a tragedy!

Hillary doesn't really have any experience other than being Senator of NY, which she purchased and I don't think being 1st lady for 8 years can be considered "Experience"!
Vote Obama and let's get a Dem in the Oval Office!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: luvwknd | February 19, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Gov. Crist (R) and the republican controlled ledgislature set the date for the Florida primary---- the DNC took the bait and nuked their own family---- who is laughing now ?

Posted by: jmfromdc | February 19, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Gee..........so much for the "dumbing down" of America. If obama wins.....more to come (it's expected). Everybody's grandchildren will be enrolled into "charter schools". Isn't that great!!!!!! Learn ebonics, history of the black man, how to have kids without paying support, how to make whitey pay for their great, great, great, great, etc. great grand father's actions... more to come.....

Posted by: lindafranke1952 | February 19, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Yeah. If HRC gets the nomination, the Dems have had it. They'll definitely lose in November. They'll be lucky if their party will even survive intact.

Obama needs to step it up and get some resounding victories in either Texas or Ohio. At that point HRC needs to realize when the game is over and bow out. Both of these things would have to happen in order to unify the Dems...so don't hold your breath.

Posted by: AdamSC | February 19, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

First everyone was upset with "THE CORONATION". Now everyone is upset because no one has been coronated yet.

This society is F'D UP!

Posted by: harried | February 19, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Move along citizens. There is nothing to see here but the horrific aftermath of the Democratic Party collectively driving off a cliff. This is in spite of the GOP - through their current president and policies - having repaved the road and installed new guide rails to give us Dems a smoother ride to the White House in November 2008.

And trust the Clintons with their phyrric victory approach to politics to have been part of the wreck.

Posted by: CntrvilleCitoyen | February 19, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Most self described "independents" will not vote in the general election, or vote John McCain anyway. Just think about this, in 2000, only less than 5% of the electorate are independents, this year it increased to 25%. Where do these people come from? There are very few democrats defecting. These are republican spin offs. But they do not agree with democrates on most things so they refuse to join the dem party. Since most republican primaries are closed, these people can only vote in dem primaries. This is the so called independent votes. Many of which say they will vote McCain if Clinton is the nominee. In the general election, most of these people will go back to their party as soon as McCain clears his position about Iraq. It really does not matter who wins the dem primary. Don't bet on independents.

Posted by: sgr_astar | February 19, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Right on errinfamilia.
Obama will have more delegates, more states and more voters by the time he convention arrives. Hilary will get spoken to Dean and others and it will be explained to her that this isn'r about her, it's about the furture of the USA and that she can best be a part of that as a strong and powerful senator from NY. The super delegates will decide that the future of the Democratic party rests with Obama, not Clinton, and vote at the convention accordingly.
End the Drama! Vote Obama!

Posted by: thebobbob | February 19, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Ive noticed many anti-Obama Hillary supporters...

Filled with hatred and bloodlust, I think mainly as an emotional reaction to not betting the right horse, and feeling defeated.

If Hillary is against the war, then how can her supporters put continuing the war without HER in office as paramount to ending the war without the Queen.

Talk about a "cult of personality."

---

Wow, I love how Obama supporters call Hillary supporters anti-Obama and then go on (IN THE SAME COMMENT) to use the words hatred and bloodthirst.

Seriously? Obama supporters are some of the most hateful people I have ever met. They routinely engage in character attacks against Hillary and then chide us as "racist" for making any anti-Obama comment. One supporter even accused the Clintons of causing a suicide. Well, I bet that some poor person from the slums of Chicago OD'd due to the stress caused by Obama's ties to Rezko, too. Also, do you all really cry at his rallies? Get a life.

I am still holding out hope for Hillary. But I am glad to say that I have started to hedge my bets and have already donated to McCain.

Hillary or McCain for President!

NOBAMA

Posted by: jburke | February 19, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for pointing out Rule 11 (H). :-)

I think some of the problems and acrimony could have been avoided if the superdelegates remembered their 'voting day' is actually at the convention - and kept their mouths shut about their intentions. All this early 'pledging' of their votes isn't helping.

That said, I would add that things can change, and Rule 11 (H) should take into account that the superdelegates, without deluding themselves, need to vote as they think those who elected them would vote at the time of the convention.

Not that I'm expecting anything all that major to happen, but if something does and public opinion has clearly changed, the superdelegates should keep that in mind.

Posted by: TomJx | February 19, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Why stop at the pledged delegates Hillary? Why not just pull a Tonya Harding on Obama as he makes his way to the stage in Texas?

Posted by: Republicus1 | February 19, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA is the legitemate, ethical, moral, leading winner in this contest... and it isn't even over yet.

hillary will twist every arm and use every disgusting lawyerly approach to steal the election from the people and for the dinasaur dem-insider class.

IT IS PATENTLY DISGUSTING!

Vote Obama for president!

Posted by: onestring | February 19, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Got home from work early today, and tuned into both MSNBC and CNN this afternoon, to hear about Castro's resignation and the Pakistan election, and was also wondering how turnout was going in the Wisconsin primary.
Wow. If you want to hear the latest efforts of the Clinton campaign to discredit Obama and turn out the vote for Hillary in Wisconsin, give cable news a look. Its kind of embarassing to watch, actually. I can only wonder what threats have been made to coerce the reporters into the non-stop "Obama is treated like a religious figure, his followers are a bunch of Moonies, we really no NOTHING about him, and he has no foreign policy experience AT ALL" message. Insert video of Hillary giving a somber explanation of what Castro's resignation will mean to the country, and how she will deal with Cuba "when I am President." Nodding talking heads all agree, including Susan Page from USA Today who solemnly refers to Hillary's "experience gained while in the White House." And here I thought Bill had been President all those eight years.
What are all these people going to say if the primary results tonight happen to come out as predicted, and Obama wins by more than 10 points?

Posted by: smeesq | February 19, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm just wondering, "Where does Vince Foster stand on this?" Oh yeah, the Clinton political machine caused him to commit suicide. OOPS, sorry I forgot that they are not responsible for the actions of others. Just the beneficiaries.

Posted by: atinaebud | February 19, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

errinfamilia, Dan Balz has done a good job covering the race this year -- he is simply sharing a viewpoint. I don't get the sense that he has a dog in this fight.

As far as this narrow issue is concerned, I think the Clintons are clearly just desperate at this stage. Michigan and Florida are moot issues at this point -- especially if the Clintons want an unsanctioned, pseudo-contest recognized.

At the end of the day the super-delegates will strike the right balance for the party's long-term interests. Or they won't and we'll have to deal with another set of issues.

Posted by: JPRS | February 19, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Ive noticed many anti-Obama Hillary supporters...

Filled with hatred and bloodlust, I think mainly as an emotional reaction to not betting the right horse, and feeling defeated.

If Hillary is against the war, then how can her supporters put continuing the war without HER in office as paramount to ending the war without the Queen.

Talk about a "cult of personality."

Posted by: faceitdave | February 19, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

svreader:

So the fact that Obama is getting more votes constitutes having him "shoved down your throats"? Sorry, that's the way it works in a democracy.
So you and your friends represent the hate vote....you get to vote for whoever you want for whatever reason seems good to you. Go for it. That's also how it works in a democracy.
You even get to publicly proclaim your hate in this forum and anywhere else you want. Democracy at work.

Of course, if the haters win, everybody loses....but this is the way we pick our leaders. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

cgirard

Posted by: cgirard | February 19, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Dan Balz is acting like a Washington DC insider declaring sour grapes on an election process in which the insider candidate has yet to be coronated.

There is no problem here... Obama is winning more delegates and can easily sustain his lead. The superdelegates will go with the pledged delegates so as to follow the will of the people.

Only the journalists and politicians of Beltway status quo have so much trouble with this election. They should just be happy that the will of the people is being expressed, but they aren't because the will of the people is ignoring all the spin and media manipulation coming out of the establishment.

The beauty of it all is that washingtonpost.com and the washington post newspaper have such a small share of the internet market and media market. So few people listen to this bs, and the majority of the few that do see it as the bs it is, not news, not information, not anything besides misinformation and disinformation. The Clintons, McCain, and a lot of insider journalists like Dan Balz are dinosaurs whose run is coming to an end. They know this, which is why they are in panic mode.

Posted by: errinfamilia | February 19, 2008 02:55 PM

***************
Bravo, the best post here! I couldn't said it better.

Posted by: LABC | February 19, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Hillary accepted the rules to not allow delegates from Michigan and Florida but now she needs then so she changes her mind.

Hillary votes to go to war with Iraq but now not a good political move so claims she didn't know then what she knows now.

Hillary supports NAFTA when President Clinton signs NAFTA but now that it costs jobs is on the other side of the issue.

Hillary changes her mind more Kerry and Romney, this woman will say and do anything to get elected and that is the reason we should NOT elect her.

Posted by: info4 | February 19, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

The candidate who would quit the race now and throw full support for the other candidtate will certainly save the party, and will likely be elevated to the status of a Saint. Who is more likely to do that, Obama or Clinton?

Posted by: sgr_astar | February 19, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

"Dimocrats!" -rat-the

Yeah HA HA LOL @ the Republic*unts who nominated a senile octengenarian with an anger management problem and a party that hates him.

Laugh away, moron. You will lose.

Posted by: sequoiaqueneaux | February 19, 2008 02:19 PM

**********************
The laughter ratfink thinks he caused by his "witty" post sounds forced and hollow. Sort of like a McCain rally...indoors.

BWAHAHAHHHAHAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

Posted by: LABC | February 19, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

"I'll happily vote for Clinton or Obama."

Just over 70% of democratic voters say they will be "happy" with either. But this election will be decided by independents and they break strongly for Obama. If Hillary is nominated, many will go to McCain. The democrats will not win the White House without capturing the independents.

Posted by: brooksofsheffield | February 19, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Clinton "originally accepted the rules" regarding FL and MI? No, she signed a document not to campaign... huge difference.

Obama "pledged to accept public financing if his opponent in the general election did"? No, he offered a proposal to do so with the caveat that he would seek and agreement with the opposing candidate.

Basically, let's recognize that these two people are politicians, advised by political professionals, and are going to favor the interpretation of the rules that best suit them. It's all normal stuff, nothing to get excited about.

The real issue here is that this is a coin flip! All the bad feelings, etc. stem from the fact that neither can win easily outright.

Good point in this column about proportionality rather than a winner take all helping to cause that... I hope some of you people who favor getting rid of the electoral college can see that we'd be in a mess ten times as large if an election were ever close and we started recounting every vote in the country!

Posted by: kemurph | February 19, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Dan Balz is acting like a Washington DC insider declaring sour grapes on an election process in which the insider candidate has yet to be coronated.

There is no problem here... Obama is winning more delegates and can easily sustain his lead. The superdelegates will go with the pledged delegates so as to follow the will of the people.

Only the journalists and politicians of Beltway status quo have so much trouble with this election. They should just be happy that the will of the people is being expressed, but they aren't because the will of the people is ignoring all the spin and media manipulation coming out of the establishment.

The beauty of it all is that washingtonpost.com and the washington post newspaper have such a small share of the internet market and media market. So few people listen to this bs, and the majority of the few that do see it as the bs it is, not news, not information, not anything besides misinformation and disinformation. The Clintons, McCain, and a lot of insider journalists like Dan Balz are dinosaurs whose run is coming to an end. They know this, which is why they are in panic mode.

Posted by: errinfamilia | February 19, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Obamas non-stop character attacks on the Clintons will cost him the election if he gets the nomination.

That's a promise from every Clinton supporter I know.

We're sick and tired of having Obama shoved down our throat.

We're even more sick and tired of repeated below-the-belt character attacks from an acknowledged coke-head and his moonie friends.

Posted by: svreader | February 19, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Thanks you for reminding readers that Ted Kennedy has no ground to stand on when it comes to trying to move delegates. Does anyone else remember all the Kennedy supporters at the 1980 convention carrying signs depicting a robot with a slash through it? So, it was OK for Mr Kennedy to sway delegates previously pledged to another candidate, but for Hillary it is some horrific scheme?

Posted by: jamesclicktr | February 19, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

"Dimocrats!" -rat-the

Yeah HA HA LOL @ the Republic*unts who nominated a senile octengenarian with an anger management problem and a party that hates him.

Laugh away, moron. You will lose.
--------------------------

So, what are we all doing? Are we just rooting for our horses to win, or are we hoping for the best candidate. Insulting each other has not and will not do us any good. All it does is keep us fighting each other and allows any real power that the populace has to slip out of our hands. This may be a contest, but it's not a game. You shouldn't have so much pride in your own party that you shield yourself from the views of others --- and from outside possibilities. Wake up, take off your "party uniforms" and vote and think responsibly as a citizen. I'm not saying that you need to register as an independent (not enough states allow you to vote in primaries)... but a democrat who will look thoughtfully and carefully at a republican nominee or republican willing to consider a democratic nominee is far superior to the ignorance that comes along with party bashing.


Posted by: mrbissin | February 19, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

In superbowl or world series, where there exist agreed upon rules, a team, say New England Patriots, stop the game and ask for rule change. Just unbelievavle.

Hillary and Bill, just unbelievable. Addicted to Power. Mr. and Mrs. Co-Presidents?

Posted by: pmcsnim | February 19, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

The Clintons = Politics of the 90s. EOM

Posted by: pmcsnim | February 19, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

If Simon's unnamed source is correct that the Clinton campaign intends to try to poach pledged delegates to break a stalemated nomination process, it will fracture the Democratic Party. I'm inclined to believe the story, however, because although I was supportive of Bill Clinton as president, personal ambition has always meant more to the Clintons than party loyalty.

Posted by: cclark17 | February 19, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

You say that neither Clinton nor Obama campaigned in Florida, yet Senator Clinton, the day before the Jan.29 primary, announced that she would appear in Florida on the night of the 29th to "thank her supporters." A little backdoor campaigning to me. If Obama had campaigned here (I live in Florida), I believe he would have won or come very close, just as he has done everywhere that voters have gotten a chance to know him.

Posted by: shenley27 | February 19, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

This, yet again, proves why it is useless to vote for the President. My vote trully does not matter. All the candidates care about is the delegates for the primaries and the electoral college for the general election. I did vote, but more and more I wonder why I even bother as it trully doesn't matter.

Posted by: ccuhel | February 19, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

We are in a mess - we need to resolve the nomination and get to the business or restoring hope for the future of this country. After all, America is defined by hope......
http://thefiresidepost.com/2008/02/19/america-hope-or-prosaic-nation/

Posted by: glclark4750 | February 19, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Senator Obama is not trying to change the rules -- just to influence the superdelegates to cast their votes for the candidate with the most pledged delegates.

Kit Taylor

Posted by: kitaylor | February 19, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

It's time to take advantage of the excitement we're seeing for both amazing Democratic candidates. Sign the petition to Howard Dean at http://www.16yearplan.com

Posted by: steven4 | February 19, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse


"Dimocrats!" -rat-the

Yeah HA HA LOL @ the Republic*unts who nominated a senile octengenarian with an anger management problem and a party that hates him.

Laugh away, moron. You will lose.

Posted by: sequoiaqueneaux | February 19, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

They should have sorted this out, before it got to this stage. No one to blame really, so they should just deal with it. Rest well though, for it looks like Obama is gaining momentum:

Barack vs. Hillary- The Google Advantage:
http://newsusa.myfeedportal.com/viewarticle.php?articleid=47

Posted by: davidmwe | February 19, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

"I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat."

"The more you read and observe about this Politics thing, you got to admit that each party is worse than the other. The one that's out always looks the best."

With thanks to the late Will Rogers!

Posted by: Smokescreen | February 19, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

LOL!

Dimocrats! :-)

Posted by: rat-the | February 19, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse


It is a mess, but that's because Dems have two good candidates unlike the Republicans who have zero.

I'll happily vote for Clinton or Obama.

Posted by: sequoiaqueneaux | February 19, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Balz writes:

"The role of unpledged superdelegates seems anti-democratic to some,...."

RESPONSE:

Wait till you see the Superdelegate commercial to be sponsored for America:

SCENE: Football stadium filled to capacity.Two predominantly African American Colleges.

SOMBER VOICE: Everyone was not always treated equal (pan to Whites only restroom)

Everyone's vote did not always count the same.(Black voters being run away from ballot boxes in the 60s)

Did you know that TODAY in the Democrat Party 1 superdelegate counts more than the vote of everyone at this game?(slowly pan the crowd)

And the superdelegates are not even elected.

Superdelegate? Or Plantation Master?

Our votes will count. Either in or out of the Democrat Party.

The Democrat Party can count on that.

END

Posted by: JaxMax | February 19, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

From *Meet The Press* Feb 17th '08...

Howard Dean wrote this letter to all the candidates:
"As leader of the Democratic Party, I strongly urge you to adhere to the 2008 delegate selection rules. The 2008 Delegate Selection Rules. ... The 2008 Delegate Selection Rules adopted by the full DNC at its August 2006 meeting clearly provide that only four states - Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire," "South Carolina - may hold their respective contests prior to February 5, '08. The [Rules and Bylaws Committee's] finding of noncompliance included a 100 percent loss of pledged and unpledged delegates."

If you tried to move your primary up, you've lost all your delegates. Florida and Michigan did it, they lost all their delegates. The Clinton campaign put out this statement: "We believe Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina play a unique and special role in the" nomination "process." "We believe the DNC's rules and its calendar provide the necessary structure to respect and honor that role. Thus, we will be signing the pledge to adhere to the DNC approved nominating calendar."

Posted by: dionc9 | February 19, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

How about if Hillary starts poaching Obama's pledged delegates? What kind of firestorm will that commence?

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl | February 19, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

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