Tuesday, March 11, 2008

295. There he goes again.

United States Senator Barack Obama won another state - Mississippi. Remember the "follow the bouncing ball" rendition in the cartoons from a-hundred years ago. "M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I. It used to be so hard to spell, but now it makes me cry!" Senator Clinton must be trying to respell her way through this winter. It hasn't be easy on her. She may be crying at this point. And we've now six weeks of back-and-forth volleys between the two Democrats before voting commences in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania while Senator John McCain, Republican-nominee presumptive, makes his way between the two or three or four right wings of his Party, some more right than others, but none too much to the left, and all of whom will sooner or later make their way into McCain's Straight Talk camp.

Back on our side of the aisle, will it all be over before it is time for it all to be over come August in Denver? I doubt it, and that is beginning to look unfortunate. One Louisville blogger lamented earlier in the day that he was already sick of the Democratic Primary. Some wondered what took him so long. Will this long and winding road rend our Party into pieces - white and black, young and old, progressive, traditional liberal, and less-liberal, and J. R. Gray-type moderates? Will such a division delay or deny the Democratic Party the full ascension it began with the elections in November, 2006, elections which because of Kentucky's earliest poll-closing hour in the nation began right here along the Left Bank of the Ohio River near Milepost 606 with the election of John Yarmuth to the 110th Congress? (Across the river polls close at the same time as Kentucky but because part of Congressman Baron Hill's district is in the Central Time Zone, he had to wait an extra hour before his race was called. The only other place which closes simultaneous with most of Kentucky and part of Indiana (at 6:00 pm ET) is the United States Virgin Islands). But, I digress.

I've written elsewhere that both camps have followed an incomplete game plan and the result has been both are claiming some predominance which is honestly unfounded. Obama likes to point out he has won more votes and more states than Clinton. The former is probably a legitimate claim to a point; the latter clearly is not. Many of the states Obama was won are "caucus" states where a small percentage of the voting population determines that state's delegates for a large number of voters who didn't bother to show. And because caucusses are not like Primaries, where one is usually in and out in twenty minutes, many folks simply don't participate due to time constraints. Caucusses do not yield the best picture of how a state's Party-registrants feel - rather it is a very good picture of a few truly focussed and committed activists on both sides. Clinton's campaign seems to ignored them altogether, losing nearly all of them, and after an Obama sweep in the upper Midwest firing the campaign manager, although that wasn't the reason given for her departure.

Then there is the complaint of the Obama people that Clinton is going to steal the election by the votes of Superdelegates. If she does, it is only because her campaign realized from the start that this group of people were part of the process, just as they have been for most of Senator Obama's life. She's played to the big-state Primaries as well as the Superdelegates, who like those who participate in a caucus, have more power than they probably deserve - but not more today than they've ever had in the past, just today (and for all of the tomorrows until we get to Denver) they really mean something.

But neither the caucusses or the Superdelegates are new. Both have been part and parcel of the process for a generation and neither Clinton nor Obama have given all three parts appropriate attention. And the result is nightly bickering for everyone to see on their TVs, PCs, HDTVs, Podcasts, or whatever other means they have. And it is isn't pretty. And it isn't going to get any prettier between now and Denver.

Here is the schedule for the rest of the season.

April 22, Pennsylvania Primary, 188 delegates.
May 3, Guam Caucus, 9 delegates.
May 6, Indiana Primary, 84 delegates.
May 6, North Carolina Primary, 134 delegates.
May 13, West Virginia Primary, 39 delegates.
May 20, Kentucky Primary, 55 delegates. *-See note
May 20, Oregon Primary, 65 delegates.
June 1, Puerto Rico Primary, 63 delegates.
June 3, Montana Primary, 24 delegates.
June 3, South Dakota Primary, 23 delegates.

Kentucky's delegation, according to the Democratic National Committee website, will be made up of 31 Congressional District Level delegates, 10 At-Large Delegates, 6 Party Leader and Elected Official Delegates, and 8 Unpledged Delegates. Then there are those 9 Superdelegates. There will also be 8 Alternates. This number has changed over time, some of that change attributable to recalculations based on the reallocation of Michigan's and Florida's delegates, which may, in the end, be back in play. There is a process to become a national delegate, the first step of which is to make a filing with the State Party by May 15. Go to the www.kydemocrat.com for more information.

Hold on tight to your dreams. (That's ELO talk for those of you as old as me).

P.S. I've been to South Dakota once in my life with my grandfather many years ago. Not much happens there. That's likely to change come late-May and early-June. I would think that if one went to South Dakota on purpose, which I don't suppose many folks do, late-May or early June would be one of the best times of year to do so. Just a thought.

1 comment:

Sarah G said...

The long wait between primaries is going to drive a lot of people crazy at first, but perhaps then they'll calm down and return to fundraising. It'd be nice if KY got some visits from Obama and Clinton during that time. Our primary might actually count for something this year!

The Archives at Milepost 606


Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Never married, liberal Democrat, born in 1960, opinionated but generally pleasant, member of the Episcopal Church. Graduate of Prestonia Elementary, Durrett High, and Spalding University; the first two now-closed Jefferson County Public Schools, the latter a very small liberal arts college in downtown Louisville affiliated with the Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. My vocation and avocation is politics. My favorite pastime is driving the backroads of Kentucky and southern Indiana, visiting small towns, political hangouts, courthouses, churches, and cemeteries. You are welcome to ride with me sometime.