we have a headline: Clinton Dismisses Weekend Losses:
Hillary Clinton on Monday explained away Barack Obama's clean sweep of the weekend's caucuses and primaries as a product of a caucus system that favors "activists" and, in the case of the Louisiana primary, an energized African-American community. She told reporters who had gathered to watch her tour a General Motors plant here that "everybody knew, you all knew, what the likely outcome of these recent contests were."
"These are caucus states by and large, or in the case of Louisiana, you know, a very strong and very proud African-American electorate, which I totally respect and understand."
Clinton has publicly dismissed the caucus voting system since before Super Tuesday, seeking to lower expectations heading into a series of contests that played to Obama's advantage. His campaign features what many consider to be a stronger and more dedicated grassroots organization than Clinton's. Noting that "my husband never did well in caucus states either," Clinton argued that caucuses are "primarily dominated by activists" and that "they don't represent the electorate, we know that."
That's just an unfathomable comment in my opinion. Washington, Nebraska, Louisiana and Maine form a miniature version of the early primary states.
Washington = Nevada + a major Industry and High tech Hub
Nebraska = Iowa
Louisiana = South Carolina
Maine = New Hampshire
Clinton did not merely lose those four states. She lost them by huge margins. Now she is apparently dismissing the votes of African Americans in Louisiana as well? A primary state that suffered the brunt of Katrina? That is a hugely problematic move for Senator Clinton.
Hillary Clinton talks about her husband. He would never have dismissed Black voters in that way when he was running in 1992.
Bill Clinton won a plurality of the vote in 1992. African-American voters made up roughly 1-in-5 voters for Bill Clinton in the general election, or 20% of his total votes. Most significantly, African-American voters in Georgia (13EV), Ohio (21EV), New Jersey (15EV), Kentucky (8EV), Wisconsin (11EV), Louisiana (9EV), and Tennessee (11EV) provided the crucial margin of victory in states Clinton won by less that 5%...states worth 88 Electoral College votes. If you include or Maryland (10EV) and the District of Columbia (3EV) or, arguably, Michigan (18EV) you could argue that African American voters provided Clinton with his entire margin in the election. For Senator Clinton to dismiss those voters, or any voters really, as a bloc today is utterly problematic.
Regarding "activists" it is equally dire rhetoric from Senator Clinton. The Democratic Party needs activists, not simply in the general election but for all the closely contested House and Senate and state legislative races we are facing in the fall. That's precisely how we won in 2006. If Senator Clinton cannot see that the "new activists" Barack Obama has brought into the process in places as widespread as Maine, Minnesota, Colorado, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Washington, Iowa, Nevada, South Carolina, Georgia and Missouri then, quite simply, the Senator from New York does not deserve the nomination to lead our party.
The Presidential nominee is the top of our ticket, the putative leader of our party. You cannot, cannot dismiss African-Americans and activists the way Senator Clinton just did and expect us to run strongly in the fall in ALL of our races and states.
Senator Clinton did not just create a strong argument against the voters granting her the nomination of our party for president, she has made a devastating argument against her claim to lead the party into the general election next fall.