Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Of superdelegates and respect

I have to hand it to my friend and fellow blogger Fabian Story, who called the races in Texas and Ohio last night nearly a week before the vote. Fabian went on to predict that Barack Obama would win the Texas Democratic Caucus, but not by the large numbers that we've seen in the other caucuses where he has managed to organize so successfully. Only 37% of precincts are reporting caucus results-but of those that have reported, Barack Obama only leads by four percentage points (52-48). That kind of result won't give Obama the large delegate haul from the Caucus that would be needed to thwart Hillary Clinton's newfound Texas momentum.

There are other ways for Obama to bridge the momentum gap, and the first would be a win in Wyoming in three days, followed by a victory in the Mississippi Primary next Tuesday. If Obama can win these primaries and maintain the delegate lead that he still holds (if only slightly) he will likely drive the nomination process to the Democratic National Convention in Denver. If there is no clear leader, however, the superdelegates will then become a legitimate factor, and it may be very hard for those people to justify swinging the nomination to Barack Obama if Hillary Clinton has won every large State that has voted. I don't think that either Clinton or Obama will win the Democratic nomination on the first ballot at this point, unless Hillary wins a few States where she is currently not projected to do well.

It is quite possible that the superdelegates may actually prove to be necessary in the convention process for the Democrats if neither candidate can win enough pledged delegates to clinch the nomination. If that proves to be the case, history will likely record that it was the State of Pennsylvania that decided the Democratic nomination in 2008. If Hillary Clinton wins in Pennsylvania, and other States between now and the Democratic Convention in Denver play out as predicted, the superdelegates may very well throw the nomination to Hillary. If Barack Obama can pull off a surprise victory in Pennsylvania (something he has plenty of time to do) and hold all of the remaining States where he is either favored or is expected to win, he may be able to win the nomination. Unless Clinton pulls off some unexpected victories-certainly not impossible for the Clintons-the Democrats will likely have a brokered convention.

John McCain clinched the Republican nomination yesterday, a source of disappointment and exasperation for many conservatives, including yours truly. I will say that McCain's victory speech was both magnanimous and well-spoken. I wish I felt that our nominee could be trusted to do the things he so proudly proclaims when he speaks.

The highlight of the night in my mind was not a victory speech, but one of the most moving concession speeches by a candidate that I have ever heard.


Mike Huckabee stayed in this race until the very last-he did not bow out until he was certain that he had lost, and he didn't give up when others told him that all was lost, he fought all the way until there was no fight left. Governor Huckabee did not begin this campaign with my admiration or my respect. Through the course of this race, he managed to do what few political candidates that I decide I don't care for have ever done-he earned my admiration and respect, and he did so in spades. I was unsure when I went to the polls on February 5th what to do, but now I am proud of the vote that I cast, and I would do it all over again-and perhaps one of these days, I will have that opportunity.

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7 Comments:

At Thursday, March 06, 2008 1:35:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've got to be kidding. Huckabee the theocon science denier, it's a sad commentary on America that the guy did as well as he did. Goes to show you the intellectual level of republicans in states he won, like TN

 
At Thursday, March 06, 2008 2:01:00 AM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

Anonymous comments show us that the intellectual level of those who leave them usually isn't very high.

 
At Thursday, March 06, 2008 2:24:00 AM, Blogger Matt Daley said...

Well, given that non-anonymous comments don't get much response around here, who can blame the anon?

And if that's the anonymousness is the problem, let me second what the anon poster said.

Huckabee could have been carrying a sign that read "I'M HOLIER THAN YOU" and that sentiment wouldn't have been more obvious than it already was in his speech last night. Listening to the guy who wanted to be Bible-Thumper-In-Chief made me sick to my stomach.

Actually, I'm not sure which was worse -- Huck's speech or John Hagee's appearance on Glenn Beck's program on Monday. I watched that and wondered what other bigots Beck might welcome onto his program. I hear that David Duke and Louis Farrakhan are available.

Anyway, back to Huck....

Huck piled on the platitudes, dusted off the Bible verses, and played up the piousness at excruciating levels. If I can say anything about him, it's that he's got the Pied Piper routine down pat -- and boy, do the sheep come a-runnin'.

And maybe Huck's pious act and "I'm holier than thou" attitude are real -- in fact, they probably are. But those that actually think that Huck's words aren't planned and/or politically motivated have their heads too far into their Bible (or up Huck's plump rear end, whichever you like).

Huck is definitely a gifted politician, I'll give him that. But that is EXACTLY what he is first -- a politician. And all this glory talk about how he gave some moving speech that deserves admiration and respect is just ridiculous. You have got to get a clue if you don't think that was planned to butter people up for some future political gambit on Huck's part.

Oh well, at least he lost. Maybe now the Evangelicals who loved him to death will actually get the memo that a guy has to do more than just thump his Bible to be qualified for the Presidency.

 
At Thursday, March 06, 2008 8:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt,

I usually let you rant and rave and chalk it up to either you don't get it or you don't care but in this case I must defend both Huckabee and Hagee both of whom I happen to know and respect.

I did not vote for Huckabee and have said why but I can tell you he is better than McCain any day. Huckabee is a stand up guy both personally and politically. you are so blinded, not only by your personal interests on this blog and doing your best to upstage David that you forget everyone has an opinion and can express it. The fact that you receive few response here should tell you about the quality of the posts you put on here. Try the objective route before the personal and you will get higher feedback and return.

On to Hagee. . . John runs a fantastic spirit filled church with his eyes on God and God's word. Sure we do not all agree with his catholicism teaching but he has a right to them and is a man of God. For you to come on here and criticize a man with no more than name calling is an insult to blogging and bloggers as well.

Matt I am sure you believe you are doing what you feel is right but based on my personal interaction with both of these men I can say you are of base and have no merit to your argument other than to name call

 
At Friday, March 07, 2008 8:22:00 AM, Blogger Matt Daley said...

Anon>

Look, if you think that my opinions of Huckabee and Hagee are restricted to this blog -- if you think I say other things about them elsewhere, to other people -- you're gravely mistaken.

And I stand by what I say about both men.

For Huckabee, my problem with him is the way he conducts himself. I've always been a man that believes that my actions should speak for themselves. If I have to start pointing those actions out and talking about how great they are, then I'm doing those things for the wrong reasons. I also firmly believe that religious beliefs should not be used for personal gain.

In both cases, Huckabee ran afoul of those two beliefs. During his campaign, he constantly painted himself as a righteous, pious man. It wasn't enough for him to act like one, he had to make sure that people knew about it. Further, he very often implied that his religion and religious beliefs qualified him to be President. His constant invoking of religion on the campaign trail -- the platitudes I spoke of before -- is what I mean by using religion for personal gain.

Saying that one is a religious person and proving that through action is one thing -- but when you start beating people over the head with it, that crosses the line.

I have every right to be angered by his behavior and to dislike him for that behavior. And it's not like I'm the only one -- why else would his appeal have been so limited to certain religious voters?

As for Hagee, he may very well be a nice man in private. And if he truly has Christ in his heart, good for him. But David Duke and Louis Farrakhan may both be nice men in private too -- does that change the fact that their bigoted, hateful men towards certain groups of people?

NO.

What Hagee has said about Catholics is 100% inexcusable, deplorable, hateful, and bigoted.

If he simply believed that Catholicism was not the right path to God and left it at that, there would be no problem. He has as much right to that opinion as I do to the opinion that his path is wrong. But he takes it MUCH farther than that. While I would NEVER say that Hagee (or any other non-Catholic) is a devil worshiper (for example), Hagee has said that -- and worse -- about Catholics.

To me, it tarnishes all the other good work that he may be doing. There should be no room for that sort of hatred and bigotry at the table of God.

Now, if you don't like what I have to say and/or if you don't agree with it -- fine, that's your right.

But to call it "name calling" and nothing more is insulting to my intelligence.

 
At Friday, March 07, 2008 7:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well insulting is how I meant it to be as well as a statement about your lack of intelligence in these areas but I guess we all need armchair wannabes which is ok with me but it does sadden me that you always seem to attack the religious people. That speaks to your lack of faith and your need to try and fit in. Matt you need to do your homework and learn to think before you speak.

Oh well armchair all you wish one day you will see the world for what it truly is and not what your close mindedness sees now.

 
At Friday, March 07, 2008 11:00:00 PM, Blogger Matt Daley said...

Ah. So, you meant to be insulting? My, how Christian of you. Look, if that's what you have to stoop to, that's all you, buddy. It says more about you than me. I've faced quite a bit of bigotry in my life and have had many walls placed in front of me -- so please allow me to say that some anonymous internet insult is not going to bother me.

Of course, it's difficult to comprehend just how cowardly it is to purposely insult someone yet also purposely hide your identity. If you're so confident in what you have to say, reveal yourself. I have nothing to hide -- you don't see me posting as an anon.

Revealing yourself would also allow me to better answer your critique -- but maybe you don't want me to do that.

Anyway, I am not attacking religion or religious people. In general, I have great respect for anyone who has found God and placed Christ in their heart, regardless of how they do so. However, that respect is lost when a person misuses their post -- especially if they have the power of influence over many people -- and when a person abuses their faith, especially in the ways that Huckabee and Hagee have.

If you can't see that distinction...if you can't understand why certain behaviors would not sit well with me....I feel very sorry for you, but it's also not my problem. If you don't want to believe me, don't believe me. If you think you know more than me, well, more power to you. You can do and think whatever you want.

You speak of my closed-mindedness...but who is more closed-minded? You say that I haven't done my homework and that I need to learn to think. Why -- because I don't agree with you?? You question my faith. How could you possibly have any authority over how faithful I am (or not)? And you say that I need to see the world for how it "truly" is. Does that mean that I have to see things your way -- is your way the only true way?

Tell me again who the closed-minded one is.

And no, I may not be the single most open-minded person in the world, but there are a few things that I do NOT do...

I don't try to character assassinate people whose ideology is different from mine.

I don't vote straight party line, regardless of who the candidates are.

I don't glorify the Confederate flag and pine for the days of the Old South.

I don't refer to African-Americans by using the "n" word.

I don't refer to other religious faiths in derogatory views -- for example, I don't refer to Jews as the "k" word.

So...I am certainly not perfect in any aspect of my life. But if you're going to try to create falsehoods and lies about me, you're going to get corrected.

 

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