Presidential Primaries

Actually, no…I don’t have to #FeelTheBern

Democratic candidates 2016

Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and the only person guy in the race that cared about cities until he dropped out…

Although it feels like it actually started on Inauguration Day 2013, the race for the 2016 Republican and Democratic Presidential nominations actually began last night with the Iowa Caucuses…or as I like to call it, Beginning Our 21st Century Electoral Process In A Place That Looks Like America Did In The 1700s.

For far too long, the Political Pundit Class has been abuzz with expectation about the Iowa Caucuses, who will win, who will lose, and what this means for the 2016 Presidential Race.

But you’re gonna have to forgive me if I’m already kinda fatigued with the whole process. While that’s been happening earlier and earlier as I experience presidential election years as your Mad (political) Scientist, I think that this year is some kind of record.

Why? Because when our political discourse devolves to the point that people are using terms better used to describe someone you might see on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D,  count me out.

Let me explain.

By now, you’ve met all of the people who hope to occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue when Barack and Michelle Obama move out in 2017.

Until he lost the Iowa Caucuses last night, the Republican frontrunner was Donald Trump,a man who had managed to confound everything I ever learned in Political Science class by angering and offending almost everyone without dropping a point in the polls. He was beaten by Ted Cruz, a man who wishes he had that skill, thanks to Evangelical Christians.

(Am I the only one who finds it odd that the main group in this country that complains about ISIS and Muslim caliphates is the one group that wishes it could get away with creating a caliphate of it’s own?)

Marco Rubio, a guy who appears to have gone to the Sarah Palin School of Being A Public Official came in third, Dr. Ben Carson, who was the frontrunner at one time despite his propensity to compare everything (and I do mean everything) to slavery came in fourth, with former Hewlitt-Packard CEO (and Planned Parenthood video truther) Carly Fiorina, the Man With The Golden Mop, Gov. Chris Christie, and a whole bunch of guys that you’re not hearing a lot about including Rick Santorum, Sen. Rand Paul, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (who was supposed to be the frontrunner) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who makes too much sense to be considered for the nomination.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a man whose ad based on the Adele song “Hello” is easily the frontrunner for Worst Campaign Commercial Ever, dropped out last night. Paul joined him in the “No Longer Running” category earlier today.

Which brings us to the Democrats.

Anyone who thought that Hillary Clinton wasn’t going to make another run at the presidency after losing the Democratic nomination to Obama in 2008 needs to pass around whatever you’re smoking because it’s obviously the good stuff.

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who was the only person talking about cities, dropped out of the race after falling to third in the Iowa Caucuses last night. What angers me most about that is how he was treated while he was in it….which was like a third eye. I get that in our current media landscape, paying attention to more than one or two things at a time is hard, but if folks would have tried it, the country may have benefitted.

Which brings me to the only person other than Clinton that the media seems to be paying attention to: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. He and Clinton were in a statistical dead heat in the Iowa caucuses, which Hillary won by the skin of her teeth and he currently leads in New Hampshire, another one of those states that determines America’s presidential candidates despite not looking at all like America does anymore.

Sanders, who has spent his entire time in the Senate as an Independent that caucuses with the Democrats, defines himself as a Socialist in a way that indicates that he knows what Socialism actually is. He’s filling basketball stadiums with people who are really taking to his message of breaking up banks, taxing the 1 percent, and providing a free college education and healthcare to everyone.

While I have some folks in my circle of friends that call Sanders’s ideas dangerous, I don’t agree necessarily. Free school for all might make it possible for me to get the last three classes I need for my masters. While I now have health insurance, something that diabetes made hard to get before the Affordable Care Act, single payer, Medicaid for All insurance could work.

But yet, I don’t #FeelTheBern, which has led to some really uncomfortable confrontations with friends of mine who do.

When I point out that much of what Sanders wants to do is going to be tough if not impossible because one or both house of Congress is going to remain in the hands of a Republican majority that’s come real close to committing treason a few times, I’m accused of an having an “irrational hatred” of their candidate.

When I ask about Sanders’s record when it comes to people of color or policies about things I find important like education or cities, I’m either told to “do your research”, something that I’d dare you to tell to a 85-year-old Super Voter, or and this is my favorite, to clarify my so-called “liberal bonafides” because I’m asking questions that make me look like a “shape shifter”.

No. I’m not kidding. I got called that by another Sanders supporter. That kinda did it for me. Like I said, when we’re using terms better suited to an episode of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., it’s a problem.

Now I understand that people are passionate about whom they support politically. I get it. And I also know that because of how passionate you are, you kinda take it personally when someone doesn’t necessarily agree with you.

But as my late Mom always put it, you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar, something that Sanders supporters might want to take into consideration.

I read an article in The Atlantic a while back called “Here Comes The Berniebro”, which was a mostly flattering portrait of the young, mostly White men who are spending a lot of time on Social Media and in the streets to get you to #FeelTheBern.

While in most cases they’re harmless, some of them are, well, pushy.

In another article I read on the website “Jezebel” entitled, “Bernie Sanders’ Campaign is Concerned About the BernieBro” these guys have been going around harassing women who support Clinton and coming for the neck of anyone who questions their candidate, something I’ve experienced first hand.

To be fair, Sanders’s partisans aren’t the only ones doing this stuff. Ever talk to a Trump supporter? Whew! And I spent most of the 2008 Democratic Convention dodging Clinton’s rabid PUMAs (Party Unity My Ass for those of you who may have forgotten) and the vitriol they were bringing.

Like I said, I understand passion. But as someone who spends more than a little time in the Presidential Sausage Making Factory, a registered independent, and someone who reserves the right to demand an eloquent argument for your candidate if you’re trying to get me to support them, it’s time for those who have been resorting to name calling, browbeating, and other less than helpful means to try and push me, and others like me, into the Bernie Sanders Fire Pit to back off.

Otherwise, there may be a run on aloe vera as the Democratic primaries roll on…

Aloe vera, as you know, heals burns…


Rushie wanna cracker….

As I’ve mentioned in other posts, one of the great things that the Republican primaries have managed to do so far for folks like me, folks who collect research on political campaigns and the use of coded messages,is provide us with the kind of grist for our research mills that money just can’t buy.

From Newt Gingrich’s belief that blacks should demand work instead of food stamps to Rick Santorum’s promise that he won’t give blacks your money (something he said to whites in Iowa) to Mitt Romney’s newfound use of race baiting, a use born of his recent win in the Florida Primaries, the grist for the code word research mill is such that it’s hard to keep up with.

But because he’s got millions of listeners and a need for attention that would rival any 5-year-old boy, I knew that Rush Limbaugh would provide me and my fellow political code word researchers with something we all probably thought that no one would come up with.

Apparently, he’s given himself a title that I’m sure that many people of color might have wanted to give him years ago, but were far too polite to do so.

That title: well, our favorite Oxycontin addict has decided to call himself “The Big Cracker.

Now why would he do that?

Well, I’ve found in the past that it’s best to let Mr. Limbaugh speak for himself, so….

Well, isn’t that special?

I guess that if anyone is going to be “The Big Cracker” in this election, Limbaugh is as good a choice as any. I feel kinda bad for Juan Williams, though. If he felt disrespected by National Public Radio, I can only imagine how played he feels by a group that he thought were his brothers in arms…

But here’s the thing. If the idea is to do what I call The Racist Shuffle, which basically amounts to “I’m gonna call you a racist for pointing out that racism still exists…” Limbaugh did it badly. My guess was that his whole idea was to somehow insulate himself and his fellow travelers from charges of racism by doing the whole “Big Cracker” thing.

Too bad it won’t work…especially in an election year that seems to include the musings of folks like Gingrich and Santorum and stuff like this…

No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. This is a campaign commercial that has chosen to portray President Barack Obama as a slave ship captain.

Now here’s the irony of all of this. The Republicans allegedly want more people of color to vote for them. I know someone who has spent much of her time as one of the most high powered Republicans I know trying to get more people of color to consider the party as their political home. In fact, I just saw a guy get ripped a new on by the Rev. Al Sharpton on MSNBC over this issue…

Personally, I wouldn’t mind that. I think that people of color need to have their fingers in every pie possible. If we’re not everywhere we can be, and in decision making positions in these places, we shouldn’t be surprised when our issues aren’t considered.

However, by the same token, you should never stay somewhere where you’ve been shown in more than a few ways that you’re not wanted. If I’m a Herman Cain right now, I’m sticking my foot up the behind of someone in the GOP leadership and telling them to tell EVERYONE that this crap isn’t cool, isn’t acceptable, and is gonna cost us votes we can’t afford to lose…

I wonder if they’d listen….

But then again, I wonder if they really care.

Taking one for the Team

This is the time in our Presidential Election lives, oh readers of the Mad (political) Scientist, that I show you how much I love you and am willing to do to make your electoral lives easier.

Now how do I do this? I do this by sitting through things that would only piss you off and do the reporting on them for you. In April 2008, I sat through a debate broadcast on ABC between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton where the most pressing issues, at least to the folks doing the questioning, were American Flag pins (or the lack thereof) and whether or not folks are good Christians, and didn’t kill anybody. I did it so you didn’t have to. Why should all of us be aggravated?!

This year, I’ve done it by sitting through the first of what promises to be a whole gang of debates between the folks running for the Republican Presidential nomination.

I took the time to watch the old: (Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich) the new (Tim Pawlenty) and the Tea Party (Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain) be put through their paces by CNN Newsman (?!) John King for about 90 minutes of a two-hour debate.

The only reason that I didn’t sit through the entire thing is because it was my boyfriend Chris’s birthday, and I was taking him to see “X-Men: First Class”

In retrospect, I probably learned more useful things from watching Charles Xavier, Eric Lensherr (the dude who would become Magneto) and the rest of the mutants than I did from watching this debate…

That’s not to say that it was a total wash, however.

Bachmann announced her presidency for all of us and went on to show that Ed Rollins is some kind of evil genius by toning down her vast reserve of crazy. If you observed Bachmann at all during the 2008 race, she was the one who felt that we should investigate people to make sure that they weren’t against America. One of those people was President Obama, whom she believed to be a Kenyan national until he unveiled his Hawaiian birth certificate.

I also learned that while these paragons of state’s rights wouldn’t step in to try and change a state’s laws regarding same-sex marriage, they were all for a Constitutional Amendment legislating who could get married (a man and a woman in case you’re wondering) and also for returning Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell to its former form, meaning that gays and lesbians wishing to serve their country would have to aim their rifles from a closet.

(Or a foot locker. Remember, Rick Santorum was one of the folks on this panel. And don’t even get me started on how Newt Gingrich just plain old needs to shut his piehole when it comes to the subject of marriage. If he’s not careful, I’ll have to pull out that 1995 Frontline documentary with his cancer-stricken ex-wife in it!)

We also learned that in the name of market forces and letting private industry do anything it wants including give people really dangerous jobs that pay pennies on the dollar, all of these folks would have let the Auto Industry go down the drain, and take millions of middle-class jobs with it. This is in spite of the fact that the auto industry bailout really helped make things better and that the automakers have already paid the government back on these loans.

We learned that none of these folks would raise the debt ceiling because paying our debts without gutting all of the programs that folks need to live thanks to the lack of employment brought on by all of the tax incentives that private industry received to move jobs overseas first. We also learned that the economy won’t get back on track until taxes are cut so much that practically no one is paying any.

(Something that has already happened in the case of many multinational corporations.)

I regret that I missed the abortion questions. But my guess is that my liver is glad that I did. Downing an entire bottle of Patron in one fell swoop couldn’t be good for it.

However, I did get yet another set of examples of why you should first read the Constitution before you try and teach it to someone else.

A question was asked about the separation of church and state. Now according to the First Amendment, these two things are supposed to be apart because when the folks who founded our country decided to leave Mother England, one of the reasons they chose to do that was because the church ran the state. Everyone but Ron Paul thought that it would be a good idea to put church back in state. Paul, the lone Libertarian in this group, disagreed vehemently.

But the most in-your-face example of how you should read the Constitution before you try and teach it came from Cain, the lone black man in the group. Having already given us such lovely bon mots as he won’t sign anything over three pages long and any deal between Israel and Palestine should be so heavily weighted in favor of the Israelis that the Palestinians get nothing, it didn’t really surprise me that he’s still committed to making sure that any Muslim that just happens to end up in his administration would be a true-blue American…tests and all.

First of all, you’re not allowed to make “What religion do you practice?” one of your job interview questions. That’s unconstitutional. Secondly, you’re not allowed to NOT hire someone because they practice a religion you don’t like.

But thirdly, I now have an argument the next time that someone Black tries and tells me that we as a people can’t be prejudiced and ignorant because these things stem from power relationships. We now know that Black folks are just as capable of being ignorant and prejudiced as people of any other color and Herman Cain stands as your proof.

While it was 90 minutes of my life that I probably could have spent doing anything else, I’m glad I watched his debate. It gives me some indication of what I should put in my Republican Presidential Candidate Drinking Game: phrases such as “President Obama has failed to leaad”, “Obamacare”, “What does the Constitution say” and others are leading so far.

But i’m willing to put my liver on the line for you M (p) S readers. Hopefully, the herd will thin out soon, Meanwhile, I’ll just sit here and wait for Michelle Bachmann’s eventual meltdown. Being the voice of reason is only going to last so long for her…

Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Throughout most of the 2008 Presidential race, I’ve had to go out and do some homework on a lot of things that I don’t know much about such as sniper fire and bitterness.
But I’ve gotta thank former Vice Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro for allowing me to do something on a topic that I actually know something about—being a black journalist.
According to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, a group comprised of daily newspaper editors, the number of people of color working in the daily press is 13.62 percent. Of that 13.62 percent, 5.36 are black. That doesn’t include folks like me who freelance, write for weeklies, blog, teach and are otherwise off the daily grind.
The numbers in broadcast journalism are a little better. A study done by the Radio and Television News Directors Association, says that of the 21.5 percent of journalists of color currently working in television, 10.1 percent are black.
Now you’re probably saying to yourself, “That’s a bunch of really interesting information, but what’s it doing here?”
Well, according to Ferraro, if Sen. Hillary Clinton isn’t the Democratic nominee for president, this relatively small group of media professionals is the reason why.
You see, because Sen. Barack Obama has the advantage of being black, and don’t even get me started on that, he has the advantage of having black journalists who parrot his talking points, Ferraro said.
Because there’s only one place where she could say this without being looked at as if she had two heads —Fox News—Ferraro made her case to Shepard Smith, an anchor for that august news organization, citing this as another example of sexism in the campaign. Play the above video if you want the whole scoop.
First of all, I’m starting to believe that in the minds of Clinton’s most hardcore supporters anything less than a total endorsement of their candidate constitutes sexism. Just like I don’t think that every fight between two people of different races is a racist fight, I don’t think that everyone who isn’t supportive of a specific woman is sexist.
And secondly, if Ferraro had been paying attention to the entire campaign, she’d know that she was talking out of a place from where speech doesn’t usually generate…namely her ass.
When Obama announced his candidacy, my friend Vince, who is a political consultant, said he’d have more trouble getting black folks to support him than whites.
Why? Because blacks in America have been down for so long that when someone has a legitimate shot of moving up, they’re afraid that they won’t make it. So why bother, he says.
I saw that first hand when the National Association of Black Journalists met in Las Vegas last year and Obama came to speak to the group. He arrived 15 minutes late and joked about how such lateness is commonly referred to as “colored peoples” or CP time.
(I also call it Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell Time, but that’s just me. Man is late for everything!)
Obama then asked if by doing so, was he now ‘black enough’. He then went on to chastise the group for ‘lazy reporting’ by allowing that phrase to even escape their pens.
Also, if you remember correctly, Clinton had roughly 90 percent of the black vote before black voters started to consider Obama seriously.
So I had no idea where Ferraro was coming from. Neither did Barbara Ciara, president of the NABJ.
“NABJ is outraged that a former vice presidential candidate would suggest that all black reporters are mouthpieces for the Obama campaign,” she said in a statement. “To suggest this shows not only a stunning lack of judgment but also her unapologetic bigotry. Ms. Ferraro used her appearance on Fox News to reinforce stereotypes that suggest that black reporters can’t be trusted to cover another person of color without bias and favoritism.”
And it’s that assumption on the part of Ferraro and what it’s going to mean to my brothers and sisters in the black journalistic fraternity that sent Denise’s Pissed Off meter into the red.
Without actually being an African American female journalist, it’s kind of hard for you to understand what I’ve had to go through to have a career in this business.
Unless you’ve walked even a centimeter in my shoes, you don’t understand the askance looks I’ve gotten when I’ve asked questions like “Are you sure this is the picture you want to run?” when it’s the front page and said photo is of some young black man in handcuffs.
You don’t have a clue of how I feel when I have to explain to my fairly educated colleagues why I might have reservations about interviewing the local Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan by myself. You don’t get how sad and angry it made me when a colleague said to me “You’re only here because you’re black and they needed to make their quota,” thus totally dismissing my talent.
Multiply my experiences by 50 and you may come close to understanding how black political reporters are probably feeling right now. Here are people who have worked hard to get a plum job—the chance to cover an historic presidential campaign—and because of some woman who’s clearly lost her damned mind, their objectivity is being unfairly questioned.
Now I’m going to say this to Sen. Clinton’s supporters and I hope that they listen good and listen tight because I’m only going to say this once and I’m not going to say it again.
Hillary is the reason why Hillary is losing. Not black journalists. Not those mean old sexist men. Not the media as a whole. Not Barack Obama. Hillary.
When she didn’t lock up the nomination on Super Tuesday like she had assumed she would, Clinton and company didn’t have a good plan B. She had a lot of bad ones, and she’s used almost all of them, but she didn’t have a good one.
Plus, as my friend Vince says, “People vote for the candidate, not the staff.” Or, to put it more succinctly, people just like Obama better.
I knew that something was up when Obama sold out the Free Library of Philadelphia last fall. I don’t know if it was the little old ladies who were ready to sneak into the library to see him like groupies sneaking into a rock concert or the couple that came all the way here from Chicago and tried to bribe a guard to let them in, but I sensed a change in the weather.
Why Clinton’s supporters didn’t catch it at the time, I don’t know. But it’s obvious that they get it now.
Otherwise, they wouldn’t be so in search of external forces to blame.
Just lay off of journalists of color, okay? We have enough things to fight as it is.

A hardening of the arteries in the Body Politic

Let me start this post with an apology to those of you who stop by this space every day for going so long without something new to say.
When I re-started this blog, my intention was to write every day, or close to every day, so that folks couldn’t come to it on a daily basis and find old stuff. Fresh content is everything on the Internets. So I’m sorry that I haven’t been on my game lately.
While busyness is the principal cause of that, some of it came from a need to step back for a minute and fully take in just how rough it’s become in Political Land.
Now don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I’m naive enough to believe that things have ever been different. I do live in Philadelphia and to keep it real, the political landscape here is almost Wild West-like in its brutality. Our municipal flag should have “Survival of the Fittest” on it because that’s what you have to be to make it out of our primaries without gunshot wounds.
But when I see some of the things that folks are saying about those with whom they politically disagree, it lets me know that the gloves have come off and that the First Amendment is being observed in all of its take-no-prisoners glory.
Just how mean and nasty our politics have become hit me on Tuesday when Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Because of the type of tumor it is, a glioma, doctors are trying to figure out what treatment to give him and how much time he’s got left.
Admittedly, the coverage of this news got on my nerves a little bit. I was watching CNN and it was as if Kennedy was found dead on the floor of the Senate for all of the hand wringing.
But some of the reaction in the blogosphere was disheartening. I haven’t seen the word “Chappaquiddick” that many times in print in awhile. The bile was flowing like a mighty stream.
And it was totally inappropriate.
Do I recognize that Ted Kennedy was Bill Clinton before Bill Clinton? Yes. He partied hard, had fun with the ladies, and nearly trashed his career because of it.
But do I also recognize that unlike the former president Kennedy got himself together, decided that power wasn’t nearly as important as happiness, and decided to stand for the stuff he believed in rather than to compromise, although he was in the minority a whole lot and probably became a better person in the process? Yep on that, too.
While I don’t believe that folks should necessarily give him credit or agree with him because he’s ill, I do believe that kicking someone when they’re down is never cool; using a steel-toed boot even less so.
Another thing that made me a little squeamish was the attack ad that the Tennessee Republican Party put together using Michelle Obama. When her husband Barack told them to lay off, I was glad to see that chivalry wasn’t dead.
But I went on a listserve I belong to and saw Democrats demonizing Sen. Obama for saying “lay off” when it comes to his wife and saying that he’s not fit to be the Democratic nominee because he can’t take attacks like this. I don’t know when allowing someone you love to be called names became a virtue, but I guess that it is in this case.
Mind you, these were also the same people who have called Sen. Obama some nasty names during the campaign because they’re Hillary Clinton supporters and believe that in order to build her up, you have to tear him down.
But to be fair, I’ve seen some pretty nasty things said about Sen. Clinton as well. Silly me, I thought that to be a bitch you had to walk on all fours and bark. If the presidential races have taught me nothing else, they’ve taught me that I’m wrong about that.
And I’ve done all this without getting into the ageism that’s being thrown at Sen. John McCain.
Unfortunately, it seems to me that this is going to be a nasty, nasty campaign. I was hoping for less vitriol and more issue discussions, but it appears that it’s not going to happen. Vitriol is easier.
And because of that, I’ll be looking at a package of $20 chicken wings the next time that I go to the grocery store.
Now I don’t know if there’s enough Plavix to undo the hardening of our political arteries in this case, but we’ve got to find a way to cure the sickness that’s in our politics.
It’s a luxury we can’t afford anymore.
But hey, what do I know? I’m pretty sure that in some underground bunker there’s someone looking for a way to turn the decision by the Californina Supreme Court allowing gays and lesbians to get married into a nice, juicy wedge issue for the fall.

The Candidate for White America

My Significant Other and I made a bet recently.
The bet is, How long will it take someone in Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s camp to drop the N-word if Sen. Barack Obama is running against him as the Democratic nominee.
He says it’ll be within minutes. Being the optimist, I said it would take at least a month. The loser buys the winner dinner at Striped Bass, one of Philly’s premier restaurants.
However, an article in Thursday’s USA Today tells me that perhaps I should perhaps try and get my dinner at Striped Bass before the end of the Democratic nominating contests because if what she said in that article is any indication, Hillary Clinton’s coming real close to dropping the N-word on Obama any minute now.
You see, Hillary’s the candidate for White America, and White America isn’t ready for a Black Man in the White House, she says.
Think I’m kiddin’? Here’s the science that the woman who was married to the nation’s alleged First Black President dropped on USA Today:
“I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on,” she said. As evidence, Clinton cited an Associated Press article “that found how Sen. Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me. There’s a pattern emerging here,” she said.
But by saying this I’m not being racially divisive, Clinton said. She then added “These are the people you have to win if you’re a Democrat in sufficient numbers to actually win the election. Everybody knows that.”
Now she may have a point here. Exit polls in North Carolina and Indiana, the most recent primary states, show that Clinton won the votes of six out of every 10 whites. Obama tends not to do as well with uneducated whites and Catholics as she does and statistics show this. The same held true here in Pennsylvania and will probably hold true in West Virginia and Kentucky, two of the next states to hold primaries.
But there’s a few things that Clinton fails to recognize.
(1) While many of us know of Idaho because we like potatoes, Idaho is famous for something else in civil rights circles. Idaho was the birthplace of the Aryan Nation, one of the world’s most notorious hate groups. A lot of the people I know started to think that this Obama chap might be for real when he won the primary there, because if you can win in a place that can create that type of hate, you might be able to win the whole banana.
(2) These are Democratic primaries. The whites and Catholics that are voting in these are Democrats already. You probably won’t get the ones that have been circling November in their calendars so that they can get busloads of their friends to come out and vote against you. Are you forgetting that your last name is Clinton?
(3) White folks and Catholics aren’t the only ones that will be going to the polls in November. Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, gays, lesbians and everyone else will be heading to the polls to cast a vote. You can talk all of the “whites are the most important” stuff that you want, but there aren’t enough Latino voters in this country yet to offset the damage you’ll take if you piss black folks off enough to either stay home or vote for the other guy.
(and in case Clinton doesn’t think that’ll happen, I know of a couple of black folks off of the top of my head that will run to John McCain in a heartbeat if she’s the nominee.)
(4) It’s one think to think something like this. It’s another thing to say it.
From Super Tuesday to now, it’s been evident to me and other folks crazy enough to observe this stuff for a living that Hillary Clinton’s campaign had no good plan B if Super Tuesday didn’t fulfill it’s promise of being the Democratic nomination knockout punch.
However, they’ve had a whole host of bad ones and this is just the latest.
Public Relations 101: If your client is about to stay something stupid to a reporter, you stop them before it comes out of their mouth or practice serious damage control to make sure that it never sees the light of day.
For failing to do either of those things, Howard Wolfson should be fired right fucking now! What was he doing, smoking crack in a back room when you were doing this interview? Was he listening to Harold Ickes have one of his world-famous profanity laden tirades or something? (I worked on the Clinton/Gore campaign in 1996. I saw Ickes in action. It’s a sight to behold, I’m tellin’ you.)
If the goal for your campaign Sen. Clinton was to prove to the American public that you can surround yourself with people almost as incompetent as the ones that President George W. Bush has surrounded himself with, I’d say you’ve succeeded. If you’ve paid these jokers $5, you’ve paid too much.
Now everyone tells me that the Clintons aren’t racist. Black folks still love this couple despite the fact that they’ve been dealing race cards from the bottom of the deck for months now.
But Hillary, you’re not doing yourself any favors right now. In fact, you’re looking like a Ivy League educated redneck. (I’ve met a couple of those. Don’t laugh.)
Since you insist on staying in the race, I suggest that you do yourself and your legacy a favor and start to think before you talk.
Unless you are thinking before you talk and crap like this is coming out. If that’s the case, I’m terrified for you.

Are we there yet?

It’s 11:53 eastern time.
I decided to come onto the blog a little later than usual because I figured that it would be all over but the shouting by the time I started writing. I figured that I’d be able to just do a straight “who won/who lost/what does this mean” piece on the ole Mad (political) Scientist blog.
But I should have known it wouldn’t be that easy.
You see, and this is something that you should keep under your hat for November, I have relatives in Ohio and Indiana. They’re the relatives who’s elevators haven’t seen the top floor in a minute. They’re the ones that come to the family reunion and almost set the house on fire during the cookout. They’re the ones that go to Atlantic City and lose the money they’re supposed to use to get home.
In other words, they’re the biggest black sheep in a family filled with them.
Because of this, I also should have known that there would be a glitch with the Indiana primary. As I write this, a big chunk of Indiana’s vote, a chunk that probably includes several of my relatives, hasn’t been counted yet.
This chunk includes several predominately black cities like Gary, which before this was most famous for being the place where Michael Jackson lived as a good looking black boy before moving to Los Angeles and becoming a rather grotesque looking white woman.
(Sorry! Couldn’t resist!)
What looked like a pretty comfortable victory for Sen. Hillary Clinton in Indiana has turned into a nail biter. (See what happens when you do your acceptance speech before all of the votes are counted?)
In fact, CBS was the lone network that called it a Clinton victory. No doubt, they’ll blame this on Katie Couric somehow.
As for North Carolina, Sen. Barack Obama won it by 14 points. Some folks thought that Clinton had a shot at the upset here, but they were probably the same folks that thought that Obama had a shot at the upset in Pennsylvania.
What these folks didn’t realize is that when you’re up by 20 or more points in a state, you’re supposed to win that state. Although Clinton only won Pennsylvania by 9 percent, she was up by 20 percent with six weeks until the primary. Obama won by 14 percent in North Carolina, but he was up by 30 at one point.
If either the Pennsylvania or North Carolina primary was won by anyone other than the person who did win it, both of these folks would have to seriously consider conceding the Presidential race to Sen. John McCain. The only group of people that I know of who have lost a lead that big and have managed to come back for more is the New York Mets.
(And the only reason they’re back is because it’s a whole new baseball season. They’re still in the same place, behind my Philadelphia Phillies, but it’s still early.)
But what’s really cracking me up is to listen to MSNBC’s talking heads pontificate about whether or not these election returns will make Clinton finally drop out of the race.
The fact that they’re even asking that tells me that these folks haven’t been listening. Clinton is going nowhere until she’s looking at math she can’t make fuzzy. Obama may be less than 200 delegates away from the nomination, and may be surging further ahead in the popular vote, but if you think Clinton’s dropping out after tonight, I have to ask you what part of “I’m going to keep fighting” is giving you syntax problems.
Besides, she’s got her finger in the ring of the pin attached to the Superdelegate grenade. Clinton is just waiting for the right moment to pull it. But mark my words, unless someone sits her down and keeps it so real for her that she can’t deny it, she’ll have pulled that sucker before August.
Which is why I hope that my name is on the credentials list for the Democratic National Convention when it happens in August. I love hearing the strains of a strained chorus of Kumbaya.
If Indiana goes final before I go to sleep, I’ll be back.

Another step toward the Bar Brawl

I may have mentioned that I’m working on getting my credential to the Democratic National Convention.
Tomorrow is one of those reasons why. The folks in North Carolina and Indiana make their voices heard in their respective primaries. As usual, I’ll be blogging live, probably from my house.
(on a side note, a big thank you to the folks at Temple University’s TECH center for letting me blog from there during the Pennsylvania Primary. An extra special thanks goes out to Joe Williams, who looked out for me in the same way that he used to when he was one of my producers at WRTI in the 90s.)
According to the folks on MSNBC, the race moves from the campaign trail and into the back rooms where the superdelegates play after tomorrow. Neither Sen. Hillary Clinton or Sen. Barack Obama is going to have the number of delegates needed to clinch the Democratic presidential nomination after Indiana and North Carolina, so these superdelegates are going to have to do their job and make the decision.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I want to be on the convention floor in Denver in August. I want to be there because as a journalist, you should cover a bar brawl at least once.
Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean has told the superdelegates that they have to have their minds made up by June. Personally, I think this is his way of trying to hand the nomination to Hillary Clinton “for the good of the party”.
Just a word to the wise Howard. Unless you want the Democratic Party to be in the minority forever, you won’t give Hillary the nomination if Barack is ahead in pledged delegates and popular vote.
You see, if my unscientific poll is any indication, you’ll bleed independents, blacks and young people. You’ll definitely bleed crossover Republicans.
In a logical world, that wouldn’t happen. But since Democrats are the only people that I’ve ever seen shoot each other in the foot and then complain because everyone’s disabled, I can totally see it.
Thus, I want to be at the convention to see who’s arm gets ripped off and whom it’s used to beat.
I’ll see you tomorrow and we’ll see what the analysts say.
But remember something. No matter what, Hillary’s not dropping out. She’s got her finger in the pin of the Superdelegate Grenade and she’s ready to pull it, no matter whom she hurts in the process. So don’t ask me if she’s dropping out should she lose either or both primaries tomorrow. It ain’t happening.