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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Deja vu all over again

These Tuesdays are starting to get boring.

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are offering up the National Democratic Beat Your Brains Out Tour, careening from state to state, trading charges and jabs and victories. Not a pretty sight.

Obama should have quelled a lot of his recent, new found critics with a resounding 56-42 victory over Clinton in North Carolina, while holding her to 51-49 in Indiana. Time and delegates are getting short and the Obama performances should put to rest concerns about his electability after the Jeremiah Wright debacle.

And simply put, Hillary lost her own spin expectations game -- badly:
Although she managed to squeeze out a victory in Indiana, the night produced a far different outcome than the Clinton campaign had hoped for. In the closing hours of the campaigns in the two states, her advisers expressed confidence that she was gaining ground on Obama in North Carolina rapidly enough to hold his anticipated victory margin to single digits. They also thought she was positioned for a solid victory in Indiana.
It's time for the Democratic Party's grown-ups to step in.

Clinton has ever right to battle on. But it is becoming increasingly clear she can't prevail without tearing down Obama and taking the party with it.

Her focus is on Florida and Michigan -- two states that broke Democratic Party rules and voted earlier than the party requested. Might seem unfair to penalize folks, but the parties make their own rules and the courts have been loath to touch them.

Obama played by the rules. He avoided campaigning in both states. And in Michigan, his name didn't even appear on the ballot.

It's that last point that is the most important. How can it be a fair fight if the contestants didn't play by the same rules? Clinton argues voters in those states were disenfranchised. Maybe. But the real injustice is Obama supporters weren't even given a chance to play the game because their guy agreed to the spirit and letter of the rules.

The party's delegate apportionment system is a wonk's dream and has become a nightmare. But even under these circumstances, it works. Obama has built a slim but solid and seemingly insurmountable lead by playing within the rules.

It's time for the superdelegates to declare victory and go home. Let Obama get started on dealing with the GOP Fear and Smear Machine. More states than ever before have had a chance to weigh in this year. You won't be disenfranchising them any more than the folks in Florida and Michigan -- especially Obama backers.

And you won't be giving John McCain a head start -- and ammunition.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Rick Burnes said...

So a question about this: If you had the ability to assign 4 good Globe reporters to month-long projects, what would those projects be?

Put another way, what are the specific areas that you think are undercovered, and need more sunlight? Where are the stories that aren't being covered?

May 07, 2008 11:43 PM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

Great question -- glad I didn't read it after you posted it. I would have been up all night!

I'm going to take some time to give this thought, but generally I would keep up what is being done -- examining the relationship between money and politics.

I would also pay closer attention to what is right under my nose -- the business of the legislature and the executive branch. Things can hide in plain sight.

And I would examine databases for the wealth of information they hold.

Back at you with some specifics after some thoughts. And as any good editor -- glad to take suggestions!

May 08, 2008 6:36 AM  

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