The presidential primaries are more like baseball's regular season than like March Madness. For the front-runners, every single game (or state) counts. And while at times it seems the broadcast networks are engaging in a rush to judgement, to claim themselves as the first to call a state for a candidate, whether through exit polling, projections or early precinct reporting, it's worth sitting in the seats until the last out to ind out who truly has won. And we're watching, metaphorically ignoring the occasional boo-birds and obnoxious drunks who are in the stands, trying to enjoy the game and root for our favored team.
Tonight, even as the most noisy of tech geeks are loudly cheering on Barak Obama, and seizing upon any glimpse of positive news in his column to show momentum, there's no chance he'll be crowned the nominee tonight. Similarly, Hillary Clinton, who I was happy to vote for this morning, won't have a lock on the Democratic party nomination tonight either. While a few weeks ago, Clinton looked to have a sizable lead in most Super Tuesday states, Obama's had the momentum, and chewed into that deficit.
Some expected this momentum would turn into significant victories for Obama tonight, and while he's certainly been competitive, Hillary has won the big states she was expected to win, and I believe, without having the results, that she will win California. However, despite this, the Democratic party distributes delegates by Congressional district in the primaries, not in winner-take-all fashion, as the Republicans do. This means that even if Hillary has the majority of wins, even the biggest wins, Obama will get a significant number of delegates, which will guarantee the race will go on.
Considering we're still nine months away from Election Day, the debates should go forward. The world could change dramatically in the next nine months, and it will benefit us all to have the discussions continue, just as I had said following the Iowa Caucuses last month.
And in case you were curious to my voting preferences today, I see the Democratic Party has an embarrassment of riches right now. Obama, Clinton and John Edwards were all strong candidates, any of whom I would be happy to see in office, especially considering the disaster we've endured the last seven years.
But to be honest, the more I know about HIllary, the more I support her. I read both volumes of Bill Clinton's biography, My Life,, and came away extremely impressed with Hillary, her upbringing, her focus and her intelligence. In the last few years, I've seen Hillary show incredible poise and something largely lacking in politics, serious intelligence. Hillary is really, really sharp. I've seen her take tough questions, and not only deliver a quick response, but one backed up with real data that is justifiable. I see her developing real plans for the economy, real plans for healthcare, and real knowledge about foreign policy and international relations, which I don't believe Obama can match today.
I enjoy hearing Obama speak. He is energetic and very likable. But when he calls for change, it reminds me especially that the change we are looking for is a change away from the Bush/Cheney/Rove years, not a change away from Bush and Clinton, as some have tried to say. While I recognize we're not giving Bill Clinton a third term, the years under Clinton's leadership were good - for the economy, for education, for the budget, and in our reputation around the world, a far cry from how they are today. If it's simply change you are looking for, then anybody on the Democratic side, or even Ron Paul, would be a good option. But if it's leadership, intelligence, and a plan for real action you're seeking, I believe HIllary is the best option. She would have the fastest ramp-up to turn our momentum around, and would have the deepest bench and resources from which to draw.
I hope that she does very well tonight, and that if she does achieve the nomination for her party, that those who support Obama today can see the unquestioned need to put a Democrat in the White House, and not give the Republicans another four years to degrade our reputation, our economy and our intelligence. Regardless of how this shakes out, we will be watching closely.
Jan. 2008: The 2008 Elections Are Not Over After One Measly Vote
Jan. 2008: My Political Focus Started 20 Years Ago
Jan. 2007: Don't Blame Me, I'm Rooting for Hillary