23 April, 2008

Hillary Clinches Democratic Nomination

Party time in Pennsylvania. Hillary Clinton completed her sweep of large states last night. Putting the grand prize of 158 delegates from the Keystone State into her win column. Coming on the heels of victories in Ohio, Texas, California, New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts, the big double digit win in this key battle ground state pushed the Senator from New York over the top. She now has 1745 delegates, well over 100 more than the 1628 needed to win her party's nomination; and almost 500 more than her rival Senator Barack Obama.

Hillary took advantage of the remake of the Democratic primary. She designed her campaign to showcase her strength in November against the Republicans. Hillary focused her campaign on the large, battle ground states, like Ohio, and Florida; two states which decided the last two presidential elections. She went "all in" in the big states a Democrat must win this November, and won 8 out of 9 states with more than 90 delegates. losing only Senator Obama's home state of Illinois.

After Super Tuesday she held a commanding lead in delegates over Senator Obama, but she cautioned that the immediate road ahead was full of small assured victories for her opponent. Sure enough Senator Obama made a game of the race, pulling within a dozen or so delegates with victories in fairly large states like Wisconsin, Maryland and Virginia coupled with numerous wins in smaller states. But Senator Clinton's strong wins in Ohio and Texas broke Obama's momentum, gave her separation and got her close. Last night, Pennsylvania put her over the top.

Howard Dean, head of the Democrat Party, called Senator Clinton and congratulated her on a strong campaign and assured her the the entire party would be ready, come the fall, to back her one hundred percent against John "McCheney". Dean should be remembered as the man who saved the Democrats from themselves.

Presiding over what could have been a maelstrom of discord in his party the last year, Howard Dean, showed courage and wisdom when he struck down the party's rules of apportioning delegates in each state in favor of the winner take all standard that holds sway in November. Last fall, Dean argued successfully that the primary should reflect the general election, so that their party would be assured of having a winning candidate in the onrushing November contest.

"Have we learned nothing from the last two Presidential elections?" Dean asked the Demorcratic luminaries in 2007. "We need a system that assuers we will win the Electoral College. The future of this country is too important to continue making the same mistakes as we did in 2000 and 2004. The popular vote? We should win that easily, but we must be sure we win the necessary Electoral votes. Changing our method of delegate allocation to a system that better reflects the general election and the Electoral landscape will mean we field the best candidate for the race we must win."

Dean also bruised a lot of egos, almost 800, among the elite Democrats this January when he eliminated the position of "Super Delegate" at the convention. "The very idea of a super delegate goes against everything this country and this party stand for. To think one should have as much say as tens of thousands of voters is simply egotistical at the least, and tyranical in the end. We shall have a vote, everyone who wishes to vote will get one vote, we will count the votes and the winner will beat the Republican in November." With that Dean launched himself into the stratosphere of his party's history.

The Democrats tried once again to sabatoge themselves when many in the party wanted to penalize Michigan and Florida for moving their primaries in front of the big Super Tuesday show-down. Dean held party elders at bay for months and then, with whisps of white smoke, following the voting on Super Tuesday, Dean stepped in and brokered a deal, allowing the Florida election to stand, since both candidates' names appeared on the ballot in the Sunshine state. As Dean put it, "Florida held an election in which both candidates were on the ballot. Neither campaigned in the state, but for goodness sakes, we've got television, the interenet, the voters can find information on the cadidates and make up their own minds; and in Florida, we see almost one and a half million Democrats, a record number, did just that. In Michigan, we did not have such an election, basically Senator Clinton ran against "undecided". She actually won, and any political junkie worth his salt knows it is not always the easiest campaign--when you are running against "none of the above". However, we can not penalize Senator Obama by allowing Senator Clinton to add to her delegate count from a vote in which his name was not on the ballot. We can not also penalize the people of Michigan and remove all of their representation in the party, therefore we will spilt the Michigan delegates 50/50, that's 59 delegates for both Senators Clinton and Obama. These 118 delegates from Michigan will be allowed to vote in all except the first ballot at the convention. This way, if a candidate has things sown up. we have elevated ourselves above the storm, and those 118 folks from Michigan still get to go to Denver. Should the race turn into a fight to the finish with multiple ballots the people of Michigan will have their say." Howard Dean became the pope of the Democrats that night.

Last night the second state to ratify the Constitution, became the first state to ensure a place in history for Senator Hillary Clinton.

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