Political chatter from DC and NYC, the amNewYork way

Democratic Primary Race Follows Design

(Credit: Politirazzi)

By Dontre

I am in perfect concert with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's statement, "A win is a win. Let's just call it what it is." So much attention has been paid to Sen. Clinton's "narrow victory" that the most important fact is being overlooked: She won!

Not only is the "narrow victory" phrasing a media headline that discredits Hillary's win, it is an effective campaign tool that attempts to erode the meaning of her victory. This slogan ignores the glaring fact that Sen. Obama's campaign would like you not see: Even when she's behind, Sen. Clinton continues to win states and garner supporters — and she has done so three different times now (coming from behind to win New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Indiana). Whether it was a difference of only 14,195 votes or seven — a win is a win. Someone prospered.

(continued) As some in the Democratic party press Sen. Clinton to drop from the race, I am even more inspired by her tenacity to keep running. I am uncertain as to what qualities one reveres in his or her respective Congressional representatives, but I personally cast my votes for one who doesn't give up.

In the eight years of Republican rule of the presidency, six of those years have seen Republicans with a clear majority in the House and Senate, until a decisive midterm election ended that reign in 2006. In that time, Democrats didn't give up in the face of a Republican majority, they fought on. Their hard work was rewarded with their victory in the midterm election due to their diligent spirit and commitment to the Democratic values, which they knew resonated with the general public. Sen. Hillary Clinton, who was present during that Republican-dominated regime in Congress, operates on much the same principle.

If we are to, generously, take her wins in Florida and Michigan, we can understand the senator's rationale: She overwhelmingly won two states (or, more pointedly, the majority of 2 million voters), and is actually a popular candidate; though, even discounting Florida and Michigan, she is still running an effective campaign. What with her wins in Pennsylvania and Indiana, and the primary's system of proportionally awarding delegates, she still gains even when she loses. And with 1,686 delegates, representing millions of voters, she is clearly supported by someone. This reporter included.

The problem here is that many are applying to the primary system the rules of a zero-sum, majoritarian system. Here, the winner does not take all. In fact, had that system been applied, it is quite possible that Sen. Obama would not only be the underdog, he possibly would have been eliminated by her wins in delegate-heavy states, such as California, New Jersey, New York, Texas and Pennsylvania.

In the end, we are left with these facts: neither Sen. Obama nor Sen. Clinton will capture the necessary amount of votes to win the nomination by pledged delegates; barring a bow-out by either of the candidate, this contest will go to the convention; and the superdelegates get the final say.

This is not an inconceivable measure, as the system allows for just such an occasion; they are following a pre-determined route. Those who take issue with the "drawn-out" process should not fault the candidates, but the Democratic National Committee. Those who call for Hillary's departure should refer to her numbers, which still prove her to be a viable candidate and (most importantly!) one who hasn't lost this race.

Add new comment