Category Archives: Democrats

The Superdelegate Shuffle

By Jeremy Barr

In every election cycle, it seems that one or two previously unimportant procedural terms enter the popular lexicon. In 2000, it was “hanging chad” and “butterfly ballot.” In 2008, “superdelegates” have become one of the most talked about factors in the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Because neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama can mathematically win the Democratic nomination with purely pledged delegates, the 795 unpledged party officials and representatives known as superdelegates will make the difference.

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A Party Divided

By Jeremy Barr

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In addition to independent voters, swing states, a slam-dunk in the general election, and relationships between political operatives, one of the biggest casualties of the Democratic primary contest has been substance.

Although Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton differ only narrowly on policy, there was a time when nuances in health care and the economy were the focus of the campaign. Now, with a few months and many miles left to go before we might finally have our nominee, the contest has turned into just that, a contest.

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The New Isolationists

By Kelse Moen

Nothing quite kills a word’s meaning like tossing it into the fray of popular political dialogue. The word “liberal” was co-opted by FDR and his collectivist acolytes, who had virtually nothing in common with the nineteenth century laissez-faire liberals. “Fascist,” which once corresponded to a particularly virulent breed of statism, is now an all-purpose smear for anyone disagreeable, even a libertarian like Justin Raimondo. Another, which was quite prevalent this primary season, is the epithet “isolationist.” It was hurled particularly at Ron Paul, due to his opposition to military intervention overseas. But, as Fareed Zakaria revealed in a recent article in Newsweek, the real isolationists are Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, who continually preach the false gospel of economic protectionism, even while they bloviate about the need for better international relations. Says Zakaria:

For the rest of the world—particularly poorer countries—nice speeches about multilateralism are well and good. But what they really want is for the United States to continue its historic role in opening up the world economy. For a struggling farmer in Kenya, access to world markets is far more important than foreign aid or U.N. programs. If the candidates think they will charm the world while adopting protectionist policies, they are in for a surprise.

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The Road Ahead

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By Jeremy Barr

With students now back from spring break, we can re-focus our attention back onto the campaign for the presidency. But first off, what was accomplished last week besides the consumption of large amounts of mixed drinks? Short of a few small scandals and one big one involving a certain governor from a certain Northeastern state, not too much.

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Clinton Sailing Happily on Sinking Ship

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By Jeremy Barr

This morning, the Clinton campaign came out with their most ridiculous line of reasoning yet. The campaign released a memo saying that Barack Obama should sweep the March 4th primary states (Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island, Vermont), and if he doesn’t, “there’s a problem.” Thus the Clinton team has begun their next, and perhaps last, political strategy: raising expectations for their rival campaign to unreachable heights.

Although Obama holds a lead in the polls in Texas and Vermont, Ohio will be much tougher for the Senator. One should remember that Clinton held huge leads in states like Texas and Wisconsin (which recently went for Obama by 17%) until recently, and the fact that Obama is within 10 points in Ohio, a state which matches up very well for the Clintons, is a testament to the strength of his campaign.

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Hillary is getting hammered (by the press)

By Benjamin van der Horst

The press, just like my colleague Jeremy Barr below, is starting to call for Hillary Clinton’s withdrawal from the race. Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter wrote a scathing column titled “Hillary Should Get Out Now.” He argues that this is her last chance for a graceful exit and for her own political future should get out of the race, despite the fact that personally Alter would love for the race to go on. He writes:

Withdrawing would be stupid if Hillary had a reasonable chance to win the nomination, but she doesn’t…Hillary has only one shot—for Obama to trip up so badly that he disqualifies himself. Nothing in the last 14 months suggests he will.

But Alter is not the only one being critical of Hillary. Continue reading

When is it time?

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By Jeremy Barr

With Senator Barack Obama being called the “Democratic front-runner” more and more frequently these days, the question now turns to when he will be able to call himself the Democratic nominee. March 4th’s contests in Ohio and Texas may help to edge Obama closer to the title, as anything short of a resounding victory would essentially be a loss for Senator Hillary Clinton.

If Clinton doesn’t make a stand in Ohio and Texas, I think that she should consider bowing out of the race. Increasingly it seems that the Democratic Party is uniting behind Barack Obama in the form of 26 states, 1,202 elected delegates, the endorsement of key party officials, and the support of the country’s biggest labor organizations.

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