Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Two More Primaries; Records; and a New DPNM E.D.

Winner of another chicken dinner!

While the pollsters hedged their bets on Wisconsin, they were still proven correct as yesterday’s primaries fell as predicted. Huckabee was sent two more requests that he amend the office he seeks to Vice President and Obama kept building his momentum. While the results were fairly inconsequential, Obama’s campaign will enjoy touting their 9th and 10th consecutive wins and McCain can continue to turn the screws on Huckabee to face the music and allow the GOP to train all of the cannons on the Dems. The decisions do not help Clinton or Huckabee, but both can spin these contests as unimportant in the grand scheme of the election. They have set the stage for the two weeks of ennui as we wait for the historic Super Tuesday on March 4th.

What have you done for me lately?

And during the wait, you can expect the attacks to become as shallow as ever. As Sen. Barack Obama has risen in the polls and eclipsed Sen. Hillary Clinton in the most important measurements of a campaign’s status, the guns have been turned against the new leader and are still firing ruthlessly. For the last year Hillary was the “candidate of inevitability,” unable to be beaten, sure to continue to ride the Clinton political machine to another eight years in the White House. The media figures that feared her nomination launched countless assaults attacking her leadership, her Senate record, her marital woes and anything else that they thought could make people pause and reconsider supporting her.

The pause has passed and now reconsiderations have been made. True or false, ethical or pathetic, the attack has succeeded in knocking her down. Now the archers have turned to the other remaining man that stands in the way of continuing down the road of reckless spending and pre-emptive wars – Barack Obama. As the new leader in national polls, delegates earned and total number of delegates, as well as a dramatic lead in fundraising, Obama is in the dreamed of, but un-enviable position of right between the cross-hairs.

Whether they be thoroughly opposed to electing a Democratic Nominee (Sean Hannity) or only consider themselves to be serving their duty as a journalist (Chris Matthews), Obama is now taking the pies in the face that buried Hillary. The biggest allegation waged against him is that he has done nothing and has no record to run on. Yes, Hannity still spells out Hussein every time he writes Barack and Obama. Yes, people still raise the worn-out questions of whether the nation is ready to elect a black man or a woman. But the record turnouts in every state thus far have proven that if anything, the Democratic Party is very tired of electing white men.

Would you like to keep the money or go for what’s behind door #2?

So what record does Obama run on? He runs on what the majority of voters in the first 34 states and DC have supported – beginning a new path forward in how we run our nation. Voters had plenty of choices with laundry lists of accomplishments and they chose to throw out the old clothing and go buy some new gear. Joe Biden, Chris Dodd and Bill Richardson could show you five examples of how they legislated or executed policies to help any constituency. They all had amazing foreign policy experience and already have on-going dialogues with the nations that pose a threat to our’s. The voters stood in unison and told them “thanks for the good work, we’ll take it from here.” It was a choice of going back to the favorite restaurant that knows your order and always cooks up a great dish versus the new hip place in town that everyone must try out – people are looking to take a chance and expand their horizons.

The record Obama runs on is not the traditional list of footnotes directing you to the bills he carried to alleviate the tax burden on impoverished Americans or create incentives for companies to utilize clean energy. He does not have 30 years of votes that inevitably can be cherry-picked to cast him in a hypocritical, flip-flopping light. It is a record of being free of the traditional ties that bind a leader’s hands and inhibit him or her from addressing the issues that brought thunderous applause when they were mentioned on the campaign trail. Expect him to be attacked for his “inexperience” repeatedly in the next 10 months. Without the traditional record to run on, he will also be attacked with baseless accusations such as a lack of patriotism, an Islamic heritage or less.

Capitalizing

What is most important is if he carries the Political Capital needed to achieve the goals he has laid out. When Bush was re-elected in 2004, he carried Political Capital and all of the talk was about what program he would attempt to achieve. Since he carried such a great amount of Capital after the sweeping win, he tried to pass one of his most controversial and unsupported ideas – privatization of Social Security. Without the sweeping victory, he would not have been able to approach such legislation.

Look at the numbers of new votes that come out to vote in Obama in comparison to the total number of voters in the Republican Primaries. Obama has won more votes in single states than McCain and Huckabee won across the nation in aggregate. Does that suggest a possible sweeping win in November?

Look at the accusations that Obama’s campaign is filled with former Clinton Administration staffers. Do you think they don’t know how the system works? More importantly, he doesn’t have the slick, perfected political prowess that Biden or McCain or Richardson would have brought to the office and, to repeat, this is exactly what voters have asked to have in the White House. Don’t be foolish enough to think that this will slow anything down. If anything, I would expect his administration to be smart enough to keep the public involved and informed about the progress on ending the war, restoring our constitution, reducing carbon dioxide emissions and all of the other issues we demand to be addressed.

So if you are walking down the street this week and some gorgeous intern with a microphone (go to any successful radio station and find me one that doesn’t hire cute girls for their interns) asks you if you’d like to answer some questions from Sean Hannity, grab that mic and tell Sean where to stick it. Barack doesn’t have the laundry list of accomplishments and that is precisely why he must be our next President.

Bring Out Your Dead

To bring it back home to finish, a head has rolled in reaction to the “disastrous” New Mexico Caucus. More accurately, a leg has been chopped off and the head spared. Party Chairman Brian Colon offer up DPNM Executive Director Laura Sanchez in an attempt to save his own job. She was relieved of her duties by politico Josh Geise. Restoring the public’s faith in the dominant party of the state will be no easy task. Voters in the state have high expectations and do not accept excuses of “we tried our best.” But his experience with Richardson’s machine as well as other campaigns across the nation has provided him the leadership and ideas to carry the party forward and restore the state’s faith. As a Cubs fan, Josh knows how to persevere through adversity and fight to the very end and I would expect no less of him in such an historic political year.

See, I told you, you’d hear that term again! Did I screw up, not go far enough? Email or leave your comments.

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