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Sunday, January 27, 2008

the Kennedy endorsements

It's clear that there is one campaign that is driving turnout, building a winning coalition and enunciating the positive Democratic message this year and that is the campaign of Senator Barack Obama.

The Kennedy endorsements are significant not because they will change a single vote, though they will move a few, but more because they highlight that the Clinton campaign can't simply get away with everything.

The Clinton campaign's "pre-emptive delegate grab" for Michigan and Florida delegates is over, as is the notion that Senator Clinton will be able to drive super delegates off the fence behind the scenes. That won't happen in secret, not anymore. Finally, Caroline Kennedy's endorsement has not simply a "symbolic" value to Obama, but will also, on a pragmatic level, unleash a flurry of donations to Obama's campaign.

The perception of power is itself powerful. The Clinton's squandered that perception in South Carolina. President Bill Clinton's gross misjudgment in comparing Senator Obama's win in South Carolina to that of Reverend Jesse Jackson could not hide the fact the he and Senator Clinton fought hard and would have loved to have received the African American and youth vote in South Carolina. Even 15% more of the Black vote would have been signficant for Senator Clinton. She did not get it despite Bill's best efforts.

There is one campaign that passed the early primary test laid out by the DNC. Barack Obama won Iowa and South Carolina powerfully. Senator Obama came in a close second in New Hampshire and Nevada, where his delegate yield was in parity with Senator Clinton and where he, despite the convenient put downs of some on the blogs, actually competed effectively for a diverse array of voters.

Senator Clinton was held to less than the 30% threshhold in Iowa and South Carolina. Her core support is seniors and white women over 40, demographics that, while significant to every Democrat, are not sufficient, in and of themselves, to forge a winning coalition and advance the Democratic agenda.

More than that, Senator Clinton has lost the thread of her message. No one thinks, if they ever did, that the Clintons are driving the positive message of the Democratic party in 2008. They don't even pretend to do so. As I wrote two weeks ago, the Clinton campaign's message is deeply flawed. It's all about them. That had real perils if the voters decided they preferred someone else.

And the voters, even before the two Kennedy's spoke, expressed their continued and passionate support for the campaign of Senator Barack Obama.

2 Comments:

  • It's about time the people "win" for a change. We were beginning to feel that our government and the "powers that be" were all ganged up against us who they were supposed to be representing. Now, at least, we can feel a breathe of fresh air and hope that our futures are in the best hands possible. No one seemed to have cared before about the lowly working class and how they survived. Now, maybe we have a voice that can change things for the better for everyone.

    I feel Good has finally heard our prayers. We are so glad to be rid of the devils of politics once and for all!

    By Anonymous b2008, at 6:19 AM  

  • b2008: still a little more work to do to beat the devils of politics. Florida is a big retirement state and the Republicans and Hillary got way too many votes for my tastes. Obama and Edwards doing well, despite respecting the no campaign rule that Clinton agreed to and dishonored, shows hope, tho.

    If Hillary were not eligible to run (Bill 1/2 impeached, not good role model for the young and tired of Bush/Clinton dynasty) I might have chosen to vote for someone other than Obama.

    I do agree with Ted that Obama is the one to lead us to the kind of sanity and unity I desire; but Cynthia McKinney had two plus' on voting records. I trust Obama will let the people lead if we give him the lead.

    I have noticed elected officials endorse him and they seem more than willing to follow our direction, if we can ditch the old and unmovable.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:59 PM  

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