On television news shows this morning, DNC Chairman Howard Dean disputed my belief that the Democratic party nominee would ultimately be decided in a "smoke filled room." He argued that there are no "party bosses" and that the superdelegates who will pick the nominee were a very diverse bunch and representative of Democrats nationwide.Well, the election in Florida was moved by a Republican legislature with a Republican governor.
At the same time, Dean proved he was not a party boss by providing no leadership on what to do about Michigan and Florida. He said the states have two options: Prove to the DNC that they can conduct a "fair contest within the rules," or appeal the decision in July. While he could have used his position to argue for new elections, he instead pushed the issue back to the two renegade states.
Goddard closes with this strong statement:
In the meantime, there is clearly a void in leadership in the Democratic party and the question is whether someone will try to step into it. Here's a thought: Imagine how powerful it would be if Al Gore called for a new Florida primary?Those are powerful words indeed.
Did Saturday Night Live have an effect on this past week's election. Take a look at what Joe Klein writes:
And then something happened. From a distance it seemed that her charming, self-deprecating appearance on Saturday Night Live — and SNL's reprise of a debate skit in which MSNBC moderators gang up on her — might have changed the zeitgeist. "Do I really laugh like that?" she asked her doppelgänger Amy Poehler, whose Clinton laugh resembles Clinton's laugh only in its awkwardness. Poehler nodded, laughing, and Clinton's "Yeah, well ..." response seemed more spontaneous than anything she had done on the stump in a month of electoral massacres. If nothing else, SNL had tapped into the slow boil that many of Clinton's female supporters had experienced during Obama's February — that feeling of taking a backseat to the egos of others who might not work as hard or know as much as they did. A feminine fury was abroad in the land; on March 4, women represented a staggering 59% and 57% of the Democratic electorates in Ohio and Texas, respectively.Obama certainly didn't do himself any favors at all with regards to where he stands on NAFTA:
But there were more prosaic, political things working to Clinton's advantage as well. Tiny fissures were beginning to appear in Obama's shining armor. I thought he won the Texas and Ohio debates with his elegant counterpunching and cool demeanor, but I was wrong: Clinton's policy details — her specificity and passion on health insurance during the 16-min. volley with Obama that was later, foolishly, derided by the media — apparently conveyed a degree of caring and preparation that seemed more reliable than her opponent's shiny intellect and rhetoric. On the ground in Texas and Ohio, she began to seem more real than he did.
There was also Obama's strange NAFTA flap with the Canadians, in which one of his top economic advisers assured America's northern neighbor — accurately, no doubt — that Obama's anti-NAFTA ranting was just "political maneuvering" and shouldn't be taken seriously. The problem there wasn't merely that the North American Free Trade Agreement is (wrongly) considered synonymous with economic ruin in Ohio and not an issue on which a politician wants to be caught fudging but also that the Obama campaign had spent days denying a story that was obviously true.Clinton's wins this past week has led to superdelegates to play hardball and withhold their endorsements for right now, reports the Politico.
Flexing their new power to determine the Democratic presidential nomination, a bloc of Ohio superdelegates is withholding endorsements from Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton until one or the other offers a concrete proposal to protect American jobs, two Ohio Democrats told Politico Wednesday.What about the 50 superdelegates that Obama's campaign said would be announced on Wednesday? They weren't announced at all!
The apparent deal among Ohioans is the first evidence of superdelegates’ banding together and seeking concessions from the presidential candidates in return for votes at the convention. It’s a practice that could become more common after Clinton’s victories in Ohio and Texas on Tuesday put her back on solid footing in her race against Obama and ensured that the battle for superdelegates will continue for many weeks to come.
Democratic officials said Tuesday that the Obama campaign planned to unveil the support of 50 new superdelegates Wednesday. No such announcement came Wednesday, but several Obama backers said that such a plan had, in fact, been in the works. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said Wednesday morning that she thought the plan was “going forward” but added that she had yet to check in with the campaign.