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My rationale for bringing the Democratic primary to a close

The time has come for the Democratic Party to collectively recognize that our primary election process for the nomination to be President needs to end soon.

Why?  Because Senator Clinton cannot hope to surpass Senator Obama without taking the low road and running a vicious campaign intent on tearing him down.  At this point in the contest, there is simply no other viable strategy available to Clinton and her advisors.  Obama leads the race by nearly every metric: pledged delegates, popular vote, states won, and fundraising totals.

Hillary Clinton cannot possibly overcome the Obama lead by cheerfully talking about her health care plan, or by charming us with happy talk on the environment and education.  She can only close the gap by throwing mud at Obama, thus making him apppear to be unelectable in the contest against McCain in November.  She has already demonstrated that she will ruthlessly advance her personal agenda at the expense of the Democratic Party by stating that the Republican McCain would make a superior Commander in Chief to her fellow Democrat, Senator Obama. She has also alienated a large segment of our Party by taking a dismissive attitude toward Democrats who live in states that vote by caucus.

It requires some extremely creative math to imagine a scenario where Hillary Clinton might take the nomination outright.  Nearly all the political experts who have analyzed the numbers have concluded that she can only win if the superdelegates decide to throw the race to her in spite of the clearly expressed intent of the voters.  Should that happen, our Party will suffer consequences too drastic to contemplate.

I don't worry about Obama's ability to fend off the slings and arrows of a political campaign.  He's a big boy and can take care of himself.  But if our objective is to put a Democrat in the White House, we do ourselves no favor by battering our likely nominee and providing the Republicans with talking points they can use to attack him.

The present state of affairs does not serve the best interests of the Democratic Party.  It's a long way to Pennsylvania, and the tension within our Party is likely to get considerably worse if we allow the race to drag on.  Hillary Clinton had her chance; she began the contest with every conceivable advantage, but she has been outdone by a brilliant 50-state populist campaign funded by small individual donors.  The incompetent management of her campaign is reason enough to doubt her ability to serve as our President.

I urge the leadership of our Party to exert their influence on the process and bring it to a close sooner than later.  Settling on our nominee now will give the Party ample time to come together and focus our energies and resources on taking the Presidency back from the GOP.

Originally posted to Eagleye on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 07:50 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It seems that Republicans recognize (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Love, HoundDog, allie123, chinchin

    that the longer this crap goes on, the better their chances in November.

    I'm kind of stalling for time here...They told me what to say. George W Bush, 03-21-2006 10:00 EST Press Conference

    by Tamifah on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 07:52:02 PM PDT

    •  I'm not sure they're right, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tamifah

      is anyone paying any attention to McCain these days?

      •  Look at Clintons's campaing in '96 (0+ / 0-)

        No primary + huge financial advantage + demoralized GOP base = huuuuuuge electoral victory.

        2008 is not the exact same scenario, but there is a big similarity: the Democrats have a monetary advantage over a demoralized GOP base.  The sooner Clinton suspends her campaign, the sooner we can start hammering McCain into electoral oblivion.

        There are people who say, "If music's that easy to write, I could do it." Of course they could, but they don't. - John Cage

        by RoscoeOfAlabama on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 08:18:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  McCain is rising above the fray (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NovatoBon, DrJeremy

        Simply by letting Obama and Clinton hammer each other. And there's more damage than simply handing ammunition to the enemy:

        1. We're not attacking McCain, and we should be - we have  a giant advantage in fund raising, and this would be the time to start defining McCain as old, out of touch, and a continuation of the Bush policies reviled by +/- 80% of the electorate. But instead we are attacking each other.
        1. As we fund Obama and Clinton to attack each other/defend from attacks, we're consuming an increasingly larger portion of a finite pool of Democratic/progressive fund raising - money that could be better used to fund House and Senate races, state legislative races, etc. We're using most of the oxygen on one race.

        It's past time to end this thing.

        "In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope."

        by Pacific NW Mark on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 08:31:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I totally agree with your points, (0+ / 0-)

          was just noting an interesting effect that maybe we didn't anticipate.  His whole world tour hasn't gotten much press at all.  I kind of get the impression he's getting ready to jump up and down and scream, "pay attention to me, I am the Repub nominee, I matter, dammit!"

    •  Has anyone thought (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tamifah

      about Obama and Hillary coming out one morning and tell us that they have decided to run together. As much as we may not like it, but it could happen very soon.

      •  i'd be thrilled (nt) (0+ / 0-)

        I'm kind of stalling for time here...They told me what to say. George W Bush, 03-21-2006 10:00 EST Press Conference

        by Tamifah on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 08:13:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Nope. (4+ / 0-)

        First, how can you run as the candidate of change when you have a Clinton on your ticket?  

        Second, what does Hillary bring to the ticket?  Experience?  Hah!  Not.  Obama needs an older, military man to tackle grandpa "get off my lawn" on national security issues.

        Third, oh come on, there is no way she would be willing to take second chair.  It would be a nightmare of head butting.

        Fourth, if you meant Clinton/Obama, get back to me when she is leading in delegates.  Until then, that's not something anyone needs to waste any time discussing, any more than Edwards/Clinton.

        •  Exactly. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NovatoBon, DrJeremy

          Obama is our nominee, and he needs a VP that helps him in some way.  Clinton, for all her strengths, is not that candidate.

          There are people who say, "If music's that easy to write, I could do it." Of course they could, but they don't. - John Cage

          by RoscoeOfAlabama on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 08:24:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Plus (0+ / 0-)

          Hillary thinks Barack doesn't have the necessary experience to be commander-in-chief.

          So if she were Obama's VP candidate, she'd have to explain why she wasn't voting for McCain.

          And if he were her VP, same deal -- if the President were incapacitated, she doesn't think he can handle the job.

          She is rooting for McCain if she can't have the job for herself -- and her statements will be front and center in McCain ads in October.

          "Animals are my friends. And I don't eat my friends." -- George Bernard Shaw

          by Hudson on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 08:40:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Not going to happen (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allie123, DrJeremy

    Hillary doesn't care what Dem party leaders say. In their view the Clintons are the Democratic Party Leaders. There is a process and Hillary can stay in until Obama has 2,025 delegates and he is not close. Hillary is in to the end, and no one can stop her.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 07:54:20 PM PDT

  •  HRC is not that far behind (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib

    If the party wanted the ability to end the race early, it should have built that capability into the primary system right from the beginning.

    It's not fair to change the rules in midstream just because they happen to help a candidate that you don't really like.

    •  Do you feel the same way (6+ / 0-)

      about Michigan and Florida?

      It's not fair to change the rules in midstream just because they happen to help a candidate that you don't really like.

      Rules are rules, right?

      "You can unlearn your dominator/racist language and mannerisms because we cannot engage until then," --bell hooks

      by BlackBox on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 08:02:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, except (as Obama's people have proposed) (0+ / 0-)

        Florida and Michigan voters should get to have primaries (or caucuses, whatever) that do county.

        The races that occurred were flawed, but Florida and Michigan Democrats are perfectly good Democrats, and they should get a chance to influence the outcome of the elections.

        •  if rules are rules (0+ / 0-)

          then Fl and MI shoild not have seats at the convention.

          Rules are rules!

          its not fair to change the rules mid stream.

          "You can unlearn your dominator/racist language and mannerisms because we cannot engage until then," --bell hooks

          by BlackBox on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 10:10:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Who exactly, besides HRC, is looking to change (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hudson, allie123, DrJeremy

      the rules?

      I'm kind of stalling for time here...They told me what to say. George W Bush, 03-21-2006 10:00 EST Press Conference

      by Tamifah on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 08:03:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Can Dean end the primary early without (0+ / 0-)

        changing the rules?

        Maybe he can make it clear that Obama has won, but making a clear statement indicating that Florida and Michigan will be shut out.

        But I think the compromise that Obama's campaign has proposed -- allowing for some kind of do-over for Florida and Michigan -- would probably be a lot better in terms of the effects on the general election.

        In my opinion, one key thought here is that the primaries have to last long enough to give the Michigan and Florida voters another chance to vote. It's unfair to completely shut them out just because their party officials are dorks. And, even if it were fair to do that, I think it would be better if Obama went into the general election with firm support from voters in Florida and Michigan.

    •  Baaaahahahaha (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hudson

      If the party wanted the ability to end the race early, it should have built that capability into the primary system right from the beginning.

      You mean, like some sort of system whereby some people, maybe elected officials and party hacks, got some super duper voting power . . . .

      Also, how do the rules help Hillary?  And aren't you supposed to be on strike?

    •  What rules are being changed? (0+ / 0-)

      It's the Clinton camp that wants to change the rules about Michigan and Florida -- rules that Hillary's top advisor voted for.

      And Clinton is far behind, when you look at the number of pledged delegates yet to be voted for, and the number of superdelegates yet to commit. She would have to win an improbably percentage of these to get to the number necessary to become the nominee.

      All she is doing is bloodying our likely nominee, and aiding McCain in the process. It's hard not to conclude that she's doing it on purpose, to keep open her chances for 2012.

      "Animals are my friends. And I don't eat my friends." -- George Bernard Shaw

      by Hudson on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 08:32:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Enforce Fla, Mich rules but also (0+ / 0-)

        let her continue to run till the process is over.

        On the other hand: I'm not a primary procedure expert. If the Democratic party has a provision that lets it end the primaries early, then, sure, it should end the primaries early.

        But keep in mind that, from my point of view, support for HRC is a lot stronger than it was on Super Tuesday.

        Anecodtal evidence: on Super Tuesday, everyone in my office was pro-Obama. The office Republican was pro-Obama. Late last week, people who had suddenly turned into pro-HRC people were practically in fistfights with the pro-Obama people.

        Whatever the procedures all, I think the party has to defuse some of the tension before it can call an early end to the elections. Dean et al. can't end the primaries while the race is still so close and people on both sides are still so emotional.

        The Alegre Daily Kos boycott or whatever is foolish, but I think the Obama people have to understand that that sort of thing is going on in the real world. The ideal would be if they could beat HRC in a way that attracts primary swing voters and the mellower HRC supporters, rather than turning them into McCain voters, Nader voters, or non-voters.

  •  Hillary (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hudson, Tamifah, NovatoBon, allie123, chinchin

    Hi guys, thanks for the response.  I'm a New York state guy, and as one of Hillary's constituents I worry that by the time this mess is over she will have diminished her ability to serve effectively as our Senator. I have a feeling we're going to see nothing but ugly from here until this race ends...

  •  The way the economy is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tamifah, DrJeremy

    going, they need to end the primary and get to work.  Hillary lost she needs to move on.

  •  Hate to be a dissenter (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tamifah

    But...

    A couple more weeks will not hurt anybody. Obama is just cutting his teeth.  

    If you watch boxing-
    Hillary is like a sparring partner that is conditioning him for the low-blows and body shots he will take in the ge. Anyone can get up after a sucker punch, but can you get up from a sucker punch after being repeatedly hit in the gut and groin? I say you can get up if you have trained well and been conditioned.

    This is training camp.

    Two more weeks and he will be a seasoned vet.

    "You can unlearn your dominator/racist language and mannerisms because we cannot engage until then," --bell hooks

    by BlackBox on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 08:00:53 PM PDT

  •  end the primary? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tamifah, DrJeremy, chinchin

    "If the party wanted the ability to end the race early, it should have built that capability into the primary system right from the beginning."

    SCLMINC,

    The Party did build that capability into the system.  The superdelegates can slam-dunk this anytime they want.

  •  Endgame (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tamifah, allie123

    There is only one way this race will end early, and that's if it becomes impossible for one candidate to win.  How could this happen?  The superdelegates could pledge early.  This, in my opinion, is the strategy which Dean and others at the DNC should pursue: get the remaining superdelegates to either declare for a candidate or make their votes contingent upon a particular outcome (eg. I'll vote for the candidate who wins the most pledged delegates, popular votes, whatever).  

    •  making it contingent on a particular outcome (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hudson

      is the wisest and most prudent method i've seen suggested of giving us a clear path out of this mess without flailing in the weeds and giving john mccain ample time to give us all reach-arounds for the next six months

      the superdelegates that aren't aligned with a candidate need to make their criteria known, publicly, right the fuck now.

      I'm kind of stalling for time here...They told me what to say. George W Bush, 03-21-2006 10:00 EST Press Conference

      by Tamifah on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 08:05:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Mathematically (0+ / 0-)

    neither can reach 2025

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

    by mlandman on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 08:04:34 PM PDT

  •  You want to cede... (0+ / 0-)

    PA to the Republicans in November...stop the primary now...that will really piss off the voters there...it won't even be close in PA in November

    Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama '08 Winning Change for America and the Democratic Party

    by dvogel001 on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 08:06:15 PM PDT

    •  Did someone say to stop the primary? (0+ / 0-)

      Umm, that's not the way it works.

      •  Having Hillary concede... (0+ / 0-)

        before PA primary is effectively ending the primary in PA without the voters of  that state having a say...yes technically there still is a primary...(just like it used to be in NJ on June 3rd) but it was meaningless and the voters of PA will know that an be pissed...

        Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama '08 Winning Change for America and the Democratic Party

        by dvogel001 on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 08:27:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, right. (0+ / 0-)

          So we should keep this charade going on so that the voters of PA get to have a vote in what some delusional people still consider to be an open race (well, not necessarily delusional, but definitely math-challenged).  Well, here's a question - the Republican primary in PA is also on the same day, but pretty much meaningless.  So will the voters of PA be pissed at Repubs too?  I mean, Huckabee basically disenfranchised them by pulling out, right?  So I guess no one will vote in PA in November.

          •  if it's still going.. (0+ / 0-)

            when PA votes, Hillary will win by some amount, small or large, declare a mandate, and the media will echo that... and we will continue to pretend on to the next contests, which Obama will win, and it will just go back and forth until there are no more states left to vote.  at this point there's been enough national media exposure i expect very little movement for either candidate and basically a draw for the rest of the primaries.  in other words, this is a huge waste of time when we already know who our november opponent is and could be concentrating on winning.  Hillary is not going to make a significant dent in the delegates.  her campaign has done just enough to stay on life support but all she can really accomplish at this point is to take down Obama on her way out.  i don't see how or why we can let this go on, and i'd rather find a way to finish it before PA so we won't have to hear how she's a big comeback kid because she won a state that favors her demographically.  after PA, it's almost certainly going to go all the way to June (imagine another 3 months of this, and think of where we were 3 months ago!), and if god is merciful upon us the superdelegates will put someone over the top so we can avoid riots in Denver.

            •  GOTV... (0+ / 0-)

              voter registration, passion, enthusiasm and voter identification...all good reasons for keeping the contest going until we have a delegate winner under the rules...(we do want to follow the rules...don't we?)

              Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama '08 Winning Change for America and the Democratic Party

              by dvogel001 on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 02:52:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Some are clearly not happy... (0+ / 0-)

            with their nominee on the Republican side (TheoCons & NeoCons) and I definitely think it will depress turnout and enthusiasm for the Republicans in that state for the Primary and the GE...

            Huckabee pulled out after McCain had the "magic number" that is not a good analogy...

            Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama '08 Winning Change for America and the Democratic Party

            by dvogel001 on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 02:51:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Wait a second... (0+ / 0-)

      ... When was the last time PA had a seriously competitive Presidential primary?

      Since when did a big primary become necessary to get Pennsylvanian voters to go Democratic in November?

      "Animals are my friends. And I don't eat my friends." -- George Bernard Shaw

      by Hudson on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 08:36:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama is tearing himself down... (0+ / 0-)

    This latest debacle is of his own doing.

    ....and an "eye of the beholder" to you too.

    by leftbird on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 08:09:06 PM PDT

    •  You mean the one where he (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hudson, esquimaux

      airs every last dirty sock of his dirty laundry in public so there is zero, nothing, zilch, that anyone can throw at him.

      And then he asks Hillary about her tax returns, and the Clinton library fund, and her earmarks?

      That debacle?

      Aren't you supposed to be on strike?

      •  Some of Obama's problems are of his own... (0+ / 0-)

        doing. Diarist blames Clinton for Obama's problems. It was talk radio that brought up Rev Wright. Obama knew this would be an issue a year ago.

        ....and an "eye of the beholder" to you too.

        by leftbird on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 08:31:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And do you have any friends, of (0+ / 0-)

          friends, who have ever said, in their whole lives, some stuff you don't agree with?  Maybe even some really nasty stuff?  When you weren't even there?

          Do the Clintons?  Maybe one or two . . . or a thousand?  Have the Clintons ever received millions and millions of dollars from them?

          This is nonsense.

          •  Point taken.... (0+ / 0-)

            but Rev. Wright is more than "a friend of a friend." Rev Wright is Obama's mentor. Even David Axelrod admits that Obama's campaign realized Wright would be a problem a year ago; and yet Obama puts him on a committee.

            But more than a year ago -- long before some of Wright’s more incendiary sermons became hot-button videos on YouTube, forcing Obama to publicly renounce his pastor last week -- the Obama campaign had a sense that Wright's sharp tongue might spell trouble for the Illinois senator.  (For a sermon sample, click on the Read more line below.)

            That was the word anyway Sunday from Obama’s chief strategist, David Axelrod, who acknowledged during a conference call with reporters that Wright was disinvited ...

            from Obama's official candidacy announcement on Feb. 10, 2007, in the shadow of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/...

            ....and an "eye of the beholder" to you too.

            by leftbird on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 08:45:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not sure where your block (0+ / 0-)

              quote is from, but as for his "incendiary sermons," I can't say I disagree with him.  On the damning front, don't read it as a lay person would say it, which obviously makes it sound very bad, but as a reverend would.  There was a very good front page diary on that today.  How you read those words makes an enormous difference.  He was speaking as a reverend, giving a sermon.  Makes a big difference.  Context matters.

  •  SD's (0+ / 0-)

    "You want to cede PA to the Republicans in November...stop the primary now...that will really piss off the voters there...it won't even be close in PA in November"

    ---------

    DVogel001,

    I hear ya. Maybe some Democrats in PA will get an attitude if the superdelegates were to bring closure to the process now.  But the way the Party set things up, it entrusted the SD's to use their best judgement and do what they belive to be the right thing.  

    Hillary had a whole mess of SD's in her pocket before Obama even got in the race, so nobody has cause to complain if the SD's come out now that they have witnessed 19 debates and 40 primaries.  

    •  Hillary expected this to be over on Super Tuesday (0+ / 0-)

      So much for her intense interest in a Pennsylvania primary. She never expected to have to compete there.

      "Animals are my friends. And I don't eat my friends." -- George Bernard Shaw

      by Hudson on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 08:38:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pro-Obama supers should announce now helping us (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hudson

    to reduce uncertainty that might lead to decision errors.

    The math folks are telling us that Obama needs only  as few as 96 to maybe 125 more supers to win  if the remaining primaries go as expected.

    Does he have them or not?  

    Why the heck should we have to guess what these supers will do?

    Especially, when a false assumption here could involve blunders for all of us.

    If 100 plus pro-Obama supers announced now then we might avoid:

    1. Desperate negative "Hail Mary" attacks that damage Obama’s fall GE chances and HRC's own reputation and effectiveness in the Senate.
    1. Unnecessary negative attacks on HRC by pro-Obama forces to "take her out politically" that may make her supportors so angry and embittered that even more than the currently reported 20% may not support Obama and instead support McCain or sit it out. We need her supporters to win.
    1. Spending $85 million/month for five months battling it out until fall, not focusing on McCain.
    1. Depriving our worthy down-ballot candidates from these resources and our time and attention. When instead we could achieved super majorities and realigned the political system for generations to come.

    THEREFORE, I call on unannounced supers who know how they intend to vote to announce now. You can reserve your right to change you mind. And you don't need to make any demands that anyone withdraw and conceed.

    The GOAL: is merely to take uncertainty out of the system to help prevent all of us from making STUPID blunders.

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 08:27:51 PM PDT

  •  Delegate Math (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, realwischeese

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Here's a link to an extensive analysis of the delegate math by the brilliant Daily Kos diarist 'PocketNines.'

    Bottom line, there just ain't no way for Hillary to win, as I indicated in my diary on this page.  Her only hope to gain the nomination is by some sort of extraordinary route, and I'm at a loss to imagine what that might be.

  •  Pennsylvania (0+ / 0-)

    Some posters have been making the point that the folks in PA and other states might be pissed if the race effectively comes to a close before they have the opportunity to vote.  But that ignores the history of the Democratic Party; oftentimes the nominee is decided very early in the race, after just a few states have voted.  There is plenty of precedent for shorter primaries than the present one.

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