Barack Obama, our Democratic nominee!

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Whew, it’s finally official*. Even though it’s long been inevitable, it’s a relief to know that Barack Obama has finally secured the number of delegates necessary to clinch the Democratic nomination. I haven’t really made it a secret that I support Barack Obama, though I haven’t particularly talked about it on here often because political analysis isn’t exactly my thing. For political analysis, I would refer you to DailyKos.

So how am I feeling right now? Ecstatic! It’s time to take down John McCain now! On nearly every issue, he’s wrong when Obama is right. It’s a no-brainer to me, and to most of my peers as well. Of course, others will differ, and that’s their right, but I’m hoping there are more people who agree with me than agree with McCain, and so far that’s looking about right.

I also wouldn’t want to miss this opportunity to talk about how historical Barack Obama’s nomination is. No other western nation has ever had a minority as a nominee of a major political party for the top position (be it president, premier, prime minister, whatever). It’s historical. Many have beaten us in having women leaders, but we’ve beaten them to this. Only in America. It’s one of the few things that’s happened in the past eight years that makes me say I’m genuinely proud of my country.

*Technically it’s not finally official until the Democratic National Convention, of course.

Can we focus on John McCain now please?

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

I haven’t exactly kept it a secret that I’m a Barack Obama supporter (since John Edwards dropped out of the race, anyway). Now it’s all come full circle and John Edwards has endorsed Barack Obama. So can we please quickly finish up with the remainder of this primary season lunacy and focus on John McCain?

Yeah, Hillary Clinton, everyone knows you’ve lost. You made a valiant effort, and no one can take that away from you, but in the end there could only be one winner and it wasn’t you. It’s time to accept that, graciously admit Barack Obama’s victory, and endorse him so that we can all focus on John McCain now. This latest win in West Virginia? Meaningless. Keep in mind Barack Obama won ten primaries with larger margins of victories than that. That’s why he’s so far in the lead.

Give it up already. Becoming President Pro Tempore of the Senate, which you’re likely to do if you don’t continue pissing off fellow Democrats, is no small accomplishment. Hundreds of millions of United States citizens never get to be president of the country. It’s okay to be one of us regular “hard-working” folks.

Don’t miss the most important Democratic debate yet

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

Tonight’s Democratic debate at 9pm EST in Cleveland, Ohio (airing on MSNBC) will be the most important Democratic debate of this election cycle yet. It’s been described as a do-or-die moment for Hillary Clinton. Her campaign has been steadily losing steam for weeks now and every attempt to regain some momentum has either failed miserably or backfired. Her recent attacks on Barack Obama, both personally and through surrogates, have been dismissed as the desperate flailings of a candidate on her last leg. Many commentators are about ready to write off her candidacy. But what can she do?

Going negative during this debate will only backfire horribly. She’s already fairly unpopular, and unpopular politicians aren’t able to get away with negative attacks. She has to stay positive, even though that doesn’t seem to have been working for her so far. It’s not exactly a Catch-22, but there’s precious little she can do to salvage her chances of success. It’s really Obama’s to lose at this point. But that’s not a likely possibility because he has been so impeccable so far. He’s not the kind of person you can trip up, or swim rhetorical circles around. That’s why this debate is the most important one yet. I think, by the end of the night, we will know for sure if Hillary Clinton is sunk for good.

I support Barack Obama primarily because I favor his policy positions over that of Hillary Clinton and because I think he would be a more effective leader, but ignoring all of that, he would still be the more significant person to win the presidency in terms of the message it would send to the rest of the world. The choices are between a racial minority and a woman, and having a minority be our president would be more significant. Look at the rest of the Western-style Democracies. Many of them have had female leaders. It’s not such a big deal to them. But very few of them have had minority leaders.

Across the globe, at least in countries with Western-style Democracies, racism is far more prevalent than sexism. Most other democratic nations are fairly insular, with relatively few immigrants and a monolithic culture. In contrast, the United States is the melting pot. Only here do we have large populations of many different minorities. Only here, because of our unique history, is it possible to have an ethnic minority govern one of the world’s large democracies. In the United States we’ve lost perspective because we’ve never had a woman nor a minority president, but in the overall scheme of things, and especially in terms of how we are viewed by the rest of the world, electing a minority president would be more significant. So ignoring any other factors and judging purely in the interests of gender and race (which, I admit, is sexist and racist in itself), Barack Obama would still be the better, more progressive person to call our next president.

Update post-debate: So I’m still not exactly sure what Hillary Clinton needed to do to rescue herself in that debate, but that wasn’t it. Barring a totally unforseen incident, I think Barack Obama takes it.

Bill Clinton is personally calling all of the Democratic superdelegates

Monday, February 11th, 2008

Barack Obama ‘08Bill Clinton, on behalf of Hillary Clinton of course, is calling all of the Democratic superdelegates soliciting their votes. It’s probably the biggest effect he’s had on the election yet, but few seem to know about it. He’s called many of the superdelegates who are undecided or for Obama many times urging them to change their votes. I know this because one superdelegate I know through the family got a call from Bill Clinton on her cell phone and he talked her ear off for fifteen minutes, allowing her to get nary a word in edgewise. The weird part? She never even told Bill Clinton her cell phone number. One wonders where he got it.

So this is further reason to be very wary of the published delegate results so far. Remember, the pledged delegates, which Barack Obama is leading in, come from state primaries and caucuses. They matter a lot because they are the voice of the people. The superdelegates, on the other hand, are beholden to no one and can change their vote on a whim all the way up to the National Convention. And as we see, they’re being heavily influenced by Bill Clinton, dare I say leaned on, to break for Hillary.

So don’t look at the superdelegate numbers when trying to figure out who’s in the lead. What really matters is the voice of the people. And in that regard, Barack Obama is clearly winning. He leads in pledged delegate numbers. He won all of the primaries and caucuses over the weekend handily, and tomorrow, he’s going to clean up in the Potomac Primary consisting of Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. When I press that touchscreen for Barack Obama tomorrow (I hate these newfangled voting machines; “pull the lever” is much more powerful verbiage), I’m going to help contribute to his building momentum. The primary season is not over yet, not by a long shot. But I have hope for Barack Obama, and this contest is more winnable for us than it ever has been.

Tracking candidate popularity by MySpace friend numbers

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

techPresident is having some fun with non-scientific methodologies: they’re comparing 2008 presidential candidates using the metric of how many friends their profiles have on MySpace. Here are the numbers:

Obama 52039
Clinton 25823
Edwards 12346
Kucinich 2565
Vilsack 1333
Richardson 658
Biden 583
Dodd 211
Paul 3061
Romney 1760
Tancredo 1085
Giuliani 817
Huckabee 490
Brownback 184
McCain 66

Notice how many more friends the Democratic candidates have versus the Republican candidates. It’s not even remotely close. The possible reasons include:

  1. Young people are generally more liberal/progressive than old farts and they get involved in social networking a lot more.
  2. Bush makes it embarrassing to be MySpace friends with any Republican.
  3. Republicans don’t know how to use computers.

I’m placing my bets on 1., but 2. might have something to do with it and 3. wouldn’t surprise me.