Wednesday, May 14, 2008

West Virginia mountain momma

Hillary is still making the case for her electability. This is a pitch for the superdelegates to change or to change back.

Ironically, long ago and far away (in a galaxy much like our own), it was her lack of electability that concerned me. She was the only candidate for President I had ever heard of who had negatives above 50% among likely general election voters. I didn't think there was any way she could possibly change that after sixteen years in the national limelight.

Nonetheless, electability is an unpredictable commodity. The pundits can't predict much of anything, but their collective record on electability is even worse than usual. Here in Massachusetts, Deval Patrick was unelectable - too liberal for a state with an established practice of countering our thoroughly Democratic legislature with a Republican governor. He won anyway.

In joining the Patrick campaign early, I gave up on the fine gradations of electability that had made me support Shannon O'Brien over Robert Reich in 2002. In 2006, it worked, and I'm hoping for more of the same in 2008.

For President, I initially supported John Edwards. He had broad appeal, true, but he was also the most liberal candidate in the race. He wanted to restore the middle class and restore the Constitution. He had the good health plan that Hillary has since adopted (and it's better than Obama's). Above all, he knew that we are in for a bitter, dirty fight to recover the American economy and American democracy from deeply entrenched plutocratic interests who are perfectly represented by the Bushists.

When his Democratic primary electability was conclusively disproven, I had to pick between the two remaining viable Democrats. Obama, for all his sweetness and light, is the more likely candidate to move the Washington conversation back toward the pragmatic liberalish center of American voter views. Hillary botched Iraq - and still botches it. Obama is of the two the less establishment figure. Hillary would be like Bill before her a President of small measures and triangulation. She would also be instantly pinned down by the next Richard Mellon Scaife funding right-wing scandal-mongering, though that will probably be true for Obama, too, as it would be for any Democrat (other than a false one such as Zell Miller or Joe Lieberman).

Obama is much less likely than Hillary to go along to get along with the Bushist destruction of the Constitution. He's more likely to accomplish large things - peace, universal health care (even half a loaf), investigations of the Bushist depredations, a charismatic appeal to our better natures.

Of course, the electoral map worries me, even if yesterday's result in Mississippi-01 should give us all heart. Current polling suggests another 2000 election, with the Democrat winning the national popular vote while the Republican wins the Electoral College.

But it's May. Think of how many races have reversed in the six months before the election. Last night, I saw Obama on TV making the point that McCain is another four years of Bush. If he'll keep hitting that vulnerability even moderately hard, McCain is toast. So, Barack, go for it!


Anonymous said...

Have any Obama superdelegates been promised jobs in the Obama Adminstration?

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't that question be addressed to all three candidates in the race for president? Let's get real.

Anonymous said...

240,000 to 90,000

That's a HUGE victory...

The state doesn't have a population equal to my city

Typical CNN pro-Clinton hype