Monday, February 11, 2008

The new bosses

In the Democratic Party, bought-and-paid-for superdelegates could decide that party's nomination contrary to the wishes of it's rank-and-file. In the Republican Party, political bosses have decided to call caucuses over before all the votes are counted to avoid John McCain being swept on a day of primaries and caucuses when he was utterly destroyed.

In Washington State, when the vote doesn't go the way the bosses want they just end the counting.

Huckabee campaign Chairman Ed Rollins:

“The Huckabee campaign is deeply disturbed by the obvious irregularities in the Washington State Republican precinct caucuses. It is very unfortunate that the Washington State Party Chairman, Luke Esser, chose to call the race for John McCain after only 87 percent of the vote was counted. According to CNN, the difference between Senator McCain and Governor Huckabee is a mere 242 votes, out of more than 12,000 votes counted—with another 1500 or so votes, apparently, not counted. That is an outrage.

“This is not about Mike Huckabee. This is not about Senator John McCain. This is about the failings of the Washington State Republican Party. All Republicans should unite to demand an honest accounting of the votes, so that Republicans can have full confidence in the results, and full confidence in the eventual Republican nominee. As I said, we are prepared to go to court, and we are also prepared to take our case all the way to the Republican National Convention in September.

“Our cause is just. We must reemphasize the sacred American principle that all ballots be counted in a free, fair, and transparent manner.”

If you voted in the Washington Caucus on Saturday, you should want all votes to be counted. No matter where you are from, you should demand that fairness should rule the day. This is disgraceful, and it speaks very low of our respect for the process.

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At Monday, February 11, 2008 5:56:00 PM, Blogger Matt Daley said...

I have to just shake my head when I read something like this. Talk about namby-pamby, limp-wristed liberal -speak.

So now the Mike Huckabees and David Oatneys of the world are reduced to the same type of whining and conspiracy theorizing that Al Gore, John Kerry, and the Democrats were so adept at doing after the 2000 and 2004 national elections -- whining that was soundly criticized by certain parties after those two elections, I might add.

Does ANYONE in the evangelical-Huckabee camp know what it's like to be a gracious loser anymore? Did Fred Thompson whine and complain about things like this? How about Mitt Romney? Has Ron Paul been heard crying about his treatment?

What's even funnier here is that Huckabee is protesting a state where he failed to get even 30% of the vote and didn't get many more votes than Ron Paul. For crying out loud, can the man have some dignity??

OF course, it must also be said that John McCain did NOT get "destroyed" on Saturday. That is utterly ridiculous hyperbole that is not proven with any sort of evidence here in this post. Huckabee did win one state soundly, but he also lost another and barely won a third. That's not "destroying" anybody.

And I've already explained why Huckabee won Kansas and Louisiana. He can trumpet about those wins all he wants, but they don't impress me at all.

Hopefully, after tomorrow night's primaries (where McCain will likely "destroy" Huckabee), we'll get some decent and TRUTHFUL reporting around here.

At Monday, February 11, 2008 7:13:00 PM, Blogger Sharon Cobb said...

A sidebar to this story, I've listed the committed super delegates on my site.

It's quite possible neither candidate will get 2025 elected delegates, and the super delegates could end up deciding the nominee for the Democrats.

Of course, there couldn't be anything less Democratic.

Be glad y'all aren't democrats.
I write it off to being dropped on my head when I was a baby.

At Monday, February 11, 2008 8:41:00 PM, Blogger Matt Daley said...


I think there are quite a few of us who would probably prefer to be neither D or R at this point.

You're certainly right about the super delegates, but I think the controversy with Michigan and Florida could be even worse. You might disagree, but I think the Republicans had the better idea for penalizing states like Michigan and Florida, by stripping just half of their delegates.

The penalty allowed the vote in both states for the Republicans to be realistic and honest, and it allows some delegates from both states to be seated at the Republican National Convention. But it also served to hurt the two states by making their vote less meaningful, on a national scale.

If the Democrats had adopted a similar model, they wouldn't be having problems with those two states. As it stands now, there doesn't seem to be a scenario that will make everyone happy.

I wonder if all these problems will spur on some serious change to the primary/caucus season. It's well overdue.

At Monday, February 11, 2008 8:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

David, Matt, et. al.:
Actually Huckabee has solid ground to complain and to take legal action on. The WA state GOP Chairman was clearly out of line. Huckabee isn't whining this is real. A complete count/recount might not change the wn/lose column but it might, the margin of victory was real small. If I was Huckabee I'd keep pushing.
When Fred quit he didn't whine. The wouldn't have been any point if he had other than making noise and truth be told part of the reason he lost was because he didn't make enough noise prior to losing. There's also the fact that he lost by a large enough margin (in a couple of races, not just SC) that even if he had whined nothing would have come of it. Romney lost becaise no one really liked him and his loss margin were large enough to be undeniable. Tho he did have something to say about WV. Paul lost because, lets face it, he was never going to win anyway. None of them ever had a legimate reason to whine.
But when the state GOP chairman stops the counting with a little more than 10% of the vote to go and roughly only 1% seperates McCain and Huckabee well ... Yes, raise hell, threaten legal action and get those remaing votes counted.


At Monday, February 11, 2008 10:44:00 PM, Blogger Matt Daley said...


The point is that Huckabee has no chance at the nomination -- so why bother? Admittedly, Washington has had its election problems recently, first regarding state elections and now this. But even if he wins a recount, what good does it do him?

For Huckabee to win the nomination before the convention, he'd have to carry every single winner-take-all state and would have to get a great majority of the votes in the proportional states.

There is just zero chance of that happening.

It's somewhat more possible for Huckabee to force a brokered convention, but even that isn't very realistic. He'd still have to get anywhere from 60-70% of the remaining delegates, and to do that he almost HAS to sweep the Potomac Primaries tomorrow and the Texas-Ohio primaries on March 4th.

Again, there's just zero chance that's going to happen. Mason-Dixon polls have McCain up by 30+ points in both Virginia and Maryland, and losses there would likely kill whatever chances Huckabee has left in Texas and Ohio.

As I've said before, this whole charade only serves to hurt McCain in the long run. He has to spend resources unnecessarily on fighting Huckabee, and he looks weak by losing in states that Huck is actually able to pick off. And frankly, McCain has more than enough self-created problems to overcome. He doesn't need Huck to add to those.

Really, it's just stupid. Now, don't get me wrong. As someone who will not vote for McCain and who wants the Republicans to lose, I'm applauding these antics. They also provide a good source of entertainment. But, as someone who enjoys also playing an objective devils advocate at times, I just have to point out how ridiculous all of this is.

It's incredibly ridiculous.

At Tuesday, February 12, 2008 9:03:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

David, Matt, et. al.,
For me, I guess it's just an honesty thing. Honest wins, honest loses. And you're also right, it does make McCain look bad and weaken him.


At Tuesday, February 12, 2008 10:33:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You said "In the Democratic Party, bought-and-paid-for superdelegates could decide that party's nomination contrary to the wishes of it's rank-and-file."
I wouldn't put too much stock in this being a p;roblem. The MSM is making a big thing about this so they have something to write about and can sound really smart without having to do any real work.
The superdelegates will fall in line behind the nominee wihtout much fuss, much less than you (and many others) make it out to be. Besides the basic delagate count they're also going tobe looking at electability in General Election, and "trajectory." One these two things HRC is experincing some serious erosion. Her inivitablity is no longer inevitable and everyone knows it. She might still win, don't get me wrong, but she's going to have to work harder than I suspect, she ever thought she would.
If Obama can sweep the races today and do so decively (large margins) and then win on March 4th he will clearly have the delegate count and the "trajectory", especially if his victory margins are high. Currently, national polls p;ut him over McCain. NOw, comman thinking is that National polls, while always fun, are generally worthless at predicting the outcome in Novemeber. This is something I agree with. HOWEVER, if the national polls between now and then consistently show him topping McCain and HRC lagging, this will reinforce his "trajectory" and cause the Superdelegates to reconsider their choices.
Something else the Super Delegates will be considering is that if they are seen as highjackng the nomination in favor of one or the other candidate and that candidate loses in November, many of them will have to face the voters in Nov '10. This is some thing that they will really, really want to avoid.
Much could change between now and the Dem Convention but there are two things to keep in mind:
1) Dems are really excited about their candidates, Repubs aren't.
2) Dems are much, much more willing to switch and support the other candidate in the general than Repubs are.

So the whole Super Delegates issue is, at this point at least, just a waste of useless prattle.
I support Obama, however, if HRC gets the nomination I could and will easily support her in the race for November. By far most HRC supporters feel the same way toward Obama. And if one or the other becomes the other's VP look out it's over.



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