Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Shorts: Campaign Roundup

Michigan and Florida revisited:

Florida has already thrown in the towel on a re-vote, and the latest out of Michigan has the Democratic leaders in that state proposing a likely-untenable do-over scheduled for June 3. Among the many issues surrounding these two states which continue to exasperate:

  • The Michigan plan calls for the DNC to pay for the new primary, something Howard Dean has repeatedly stated will not happen. If the two states exhibited folly in ignoring the DNC's warnings before, they have raised the bar beyond reach in continuing to do so now. To go on so unbudgingly requires either an enormous set of something or a complete lack of rational thought. I'm banking on the latter.

  • Several weeks into this conversation, there are still pundits and candidates who call the March 4 elections fair. Again, they ignore the obvious. The DNC stripped the delegates before the primaries were held, nobody campaigned in those states, and Obama wasn't on the ballot in Michigan. To suggest that Obama should have kept his name on the ballot carries the same weight as suggesting he put it on a Canadian ballot. As far as he and everyone else-including the voters-knew, the Michigan ballot counted for just as much. Clinton seems to be chastising Barack for lacking the foresight to see an attempted mid-stream rule change in the future. (Although, considering the opponent, maybe he should have.)

On delegate counts; and ignoring them:

March 4 signaled a turning point in the Democratic race. Not because Clinton put together an impressive set of wins and closed the gap between her and Obama, but because that was the day the pundits forgot about the delegate count.

By all accounts, Hillary netted less than ten delegates on Super-de-duper Tuesday-bowl-mania, but somebody forgot to alert cable news. Obama has more than made up that ground by winning Wyoming and Mississippi as well as gaining some of Edwards' Iowa delegates. Obama's increased his lead since March 3.

Yet, if the actual state of the race hasn't changed, the narrative sure has. But given that the delegates are awarded proportionally and that Clinton would have to win every remaining state by preposterous margins, it's glaringly obvious that she can't catch Obama short of a riot-inciting convention battle.

Will someone please alert the MSM to pay attention to how the delegates are counted and divided up. It's kind of important to your narrative, even if it doesn't sell as well as a soap opera.

Eliot Spitzer redux:

As expected, opinion as to the significance of private affairs on public office is trending on party lines. Clinching the achievement of farce, David Vitter goes as far as to say that he and Spitzer do not share similar tales.

"I have made a very serious mistake a long time ago and I have to live with that every day," Vitter said, according to Jordan's account. "That's not a flippant statement. I need to spend my whole life making up for that." According to Jordan, Vitter turned "a bit defiant" and added: "Anybody who looks at the two cases will see there is an enormous difference between the two of them. The people that are trying to draw comparisons to the two cases are people who've never agreed with me on important issues like immigration and other things."

What, exactly, the differences are, no one knows. Well, besides the fact that Spitzer resigned and Vitter still serves, even having the cajones to add an abstinence-only clause into an African AIDS relief package. For those scoring at home, that's David Vitter: 2, logic: 0.

On the coverage: Please, no more pontificating on what drives a man to cheat. Ask a 15-year-old and move on with it. Coming to the right conclusion doesn't require a committee.

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