I have noted a number of myths amongst the comments here as to why Hillary should stay in the race. Here are ten enduring, kudzu-like myths, with the debunking they sorely need.
Myth: This race is tied.
No, actually, it’s not. Obama has the lead in number of states won, in pledged delegates and in overall delegates. Nothing will happen in the remaining primaries to substantially change that. As to the one thing Hillary does lead in, superdelegates, her quickly shrinking margin is among DNC personnel only. When you look at the elected superdelegates, Congressman, Senators and Governors (i.e. people who actually work with both Obama and Clinton) Obama leads there, too.
Myth: Okay, the popular vote is tied.
There are people who claim that because of the 3% separation, that Obama’s lead in the popular vote is a “statistical tie.” This is a myth because, when you can actually count things, there’s no need of statistics and no such thing as a margin of error. The popular vote is not an estimate based on a sampling, like a poll. Like the general election, there are winners and losers and, so far, Obama is the winner.
Myth: Fine, but what if we count electoral votes? NOW Hillary is ahead!
Not so much. The proportions of electoral votes to population versus delegates to population are pretty comparable. So if you allocated electors proportionally in the same manner that you allocate delegates, Obama is still ahead. If you allocate them on a winner-take-all basis, then that would be the same as allocating the delegates on a winner-take-all basis, so why bring electors into it?
Myth: But if we did do it like the Electoral College, that proves Hillary is more electable than Obama, because of states like California.
This is perhaps the saddest little myth of all. It’s ridiculous to suggest that Obama will lose New York and California to McCain because Clinton won them in the primaries. No, come November, those states will join with Obama’s Illinois to provide 40% of the electors necessary for him to win.
Myth: Very well, then, Mr. Smarty-Math. But if we counted Michigan and Florida, THEN Hillary would be winning!
Nooo, she wouldn’t. The margin would depend on how you allocate the delegates, but Obama would still be ahead. And he’d still be about 100,000 ahead in the popular vote, too, despite not even being on the ballot in Michigan. However, it would enhance Hillary’s chances of catching up in the remaining races.
Myth: Ah HA! So Dean is keeping them out just to help Obama! And Obama is keeping them out.
That’s two myths, but I’ll treat it like one. The only people who can come up with a solution to this problem are the states themselves, to be presented to the Rules and Regulations Committee of the DNC for ratification. It was Rules and Regs, not Howard Dean, who ruled that Florida and Michigan were breaking the rules when they presented their original primary plans. If the two states cannot come up with a plan to reselect delegates, they can try to seat whatever delegates were chosen in the discounted primaries by appealing to the Democratic Convention’s Credentialing Committee, which includes many members from Rules and Bylaws.
Myth: If they don’t get seated until the convention but a nominee is selected before these poor people get counted then these states are disenfranchised.
There are two ways to debunk this myth: semantically and practically. The first is based on the word “disenfranchised:” these people have not been deprived of their right to vote. Through the actions of their states, their votes don’t impact the outcome. Now, you may say that that is specious semantics (Myth: I do say that!) but practically speaking, this is the usual effect of the nominating process, anyway. All of the Republican primaries since McCain clinched the nomination have been meaningless, but those voters are not disenfranchised.
Florida and Michigan tried to become more relevant in the process by breaking the rules. They risked becoming irrelevant instead.
Myth: Well, I say they are disenfranchised, and Hillary Clinton is their champion.
Only when it suits her. Last fall, when the decision was first made to flush 100% of Michigan and Florida delegates, Clinton firmly ratified it. That was because the typical punishment of only 50% representation also kept the candidates from raising money in those states. Figuring that she would wrap up the nomination handily anyway, the clear front-runner agreed with all the other candidates – including Obama – to completely “disenfranchise” those two states.
Myth: Well, never mind 2007. She’s doing more now to bring them in.
Not really. Recent stories in the St. Petersburg Times political blog said that 1) the Obama camp has reached out to the Florida Democratic party about a compromise and that 2) the Clinton camp will discuss nothing else but re-votes, which are legally, practically and politically dead.
Myth: Whatever! Hillary can still win! I know she can! She and her 37% positive rating will sweep through the remaining primaries and Michigan and Florida, winning 70% of everything and superdelegates will flock to her banner and Barack Obama will personally nominate her at the Convention and John McCain will give up and George Bush will even quit early so she can take over and… and… and… can I have a glass of water?
Yes, and you should lie down, too.
A little more than a week ago front pages across the country joined 24-hour news networks and the World Wide Web in declaring that Sen. Hillary Clinton had forged a dramatic comeback against Sen. Barack Obama in the race for the Democratic nomination.
But how could that be? Didn’t Clinton take three of the four states voting for nominees on March 4, including the two biggies, Texas and Ohio? Well, yes and no.
Clinton did win Ohio by a significant margin and as a result received 74 delegates to Obama’s 65. But in Texas, while Clinton did indeed win the primary, Obama handily won the caucuses which that state also uses to determine allocation of delegates. They finally ended up counting the caucus votes on Tuesday. When all was said and done, Obama had captured 99 delegates in Texas to Clinton’s 95. And, as the political analysts keep telling us, it’s all about the delegates.
In the other March 4 contests the pair split the small states, Obama taking Vermont. while Clinton won in Rhode Island. Add up all the delegates from the four races and Clinton walked away with 187 to Obama’s 181. That’s right, for all the hoopla and breathless talk of a Clinton revival, she gained only six delegates, according to figures compiled by CNN.
Since then Obama has won two more states — Wyoming and Mississippi — capturing 17 of the 28 delegates up for grabs. Put it all together and you find that since Clinton began her “comeback,” Obama has increased his committed delegate lead by two. There was no comeback.
Remember when Hillary Clinton moved to New York and adopted it as her home by idiotically putting on a Yankees hat? And remember how Hillary Clinton tried to head into Illinois and claim that no, no, she’s from there too? And then remember how she implied that her Wellsley and Yale roots meant she was from Massachusetts and Connecticut in the lead up to those states’ primaries? And then remember during the Texas primary she claimed she also had deep roots in south Texas?
Well, now she’s claiming she’s actually from Pennsylvania – a convenient announcement just a few weeks ahead of Pennsylvania’s primary.
I just got this from her campaign in my email box:
Hillary has always had deep family roots in Pennsylvania and lifelong memories of her time spent there as a child. Her grandparents came to Pennsylvania over a century ago, and her father, Hugh Rodham, was born and raised in Scranton — and then went on to play football for the Penn State Nittany Lions. Hillary has always been connected to Pennsylvania and that’s why she has always carried with her the images and voices of the people she came to know. Coming back to Pennsylvania this week has been more like a homecoming…
Yes, she cares so much about Scranton that she spent the last decade championing the same NAFTA that has destroyed that part of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Why do the Clintons always treat the public like we are just drop-dead stupid?
Monday Howard Wolfson, the supreme spokesman for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, issued a pronouncement by telephone conference call: “We do not believe,” he said, “that Sen. Obama has passed that key commander in chief test.”
This point was apparently made to disqualify Barack Obama from the No. 2 vice president job that he says he would never want and Hillary Clinton herself brought up last week and has talked about several times along with her husband but now they’ve decided the Illinois senator hasn’t passed the commander in chief test that he’s never taken and no one knows what it is anyway.
Which got us to thinking. What do you suppose a commander in chief test looks like? What do you have to know how to do to become commander in chief? And how, by the way, do we know whether Sen. Clinton has passed or even taken the commander in chief test?
Her campaign has not released Clinton’s commander in chief test, which….
fits because she hasn’t released her recent years’ income taxes either or the vast volume of documents from her first lady days that she says constitute so many of those 35 years of valuable experience that qualify her to be commander in chief.
So the entire world is left to guess what exactly is on Hillary Clinton’s commander in chief test. Which may be what her campaign wants. Because, in point of fact, if you think about it, Obama and John McCain are actually a tad bit closer to being the commander in chief since Obama leads in popular votes, states and Democratic delegates and McCain has already locked up the Republican nomination, unless Ron Paul really turns it on here in the next few weeks.
Diary entry by Richard Volaar
I was listening to Randi Rhodes during the commute this afternoon and she mentioned an intriguing possibility.
Bill doesn’t want Hillary to win. Sure, he’ll look like he’s giving it his best, but the facts on the ground tell a different tale. A tale of an unhappy husband and a frustrated former President.
For example, these verbal gaffes he engages in from time to time while stumping for his wife — do they sound like a caring husband who really wants his wife’s dream to come true, or do they sound more like an unhappy husband doing his umpteenth penance for finding some pathetic solace outside his barren, purely convenient, marriage?
I really do not believe Bill Clinton wants Hillary to be President of the United States. I could say that this is because he is a selfish cad who wants to be the only Commander and Chief of his broken little family. But I think — no, I feel — that Bill knows the stresses of the job and at some point during this campaign it has occurred even to him that his wife is completely incapable of being the Commander in Chief of a dying superpower. He found himself out of his element on more than one occasion — one being painstakingly documented by the lurid and sadistic Kenneth Starr — and those times, while not the best in world history, certainly were not as far gone as they are now. The US Treasury has been bankrupted, the real estate market is tanking, the stock market is beginning its death rattle and every punk on every street corner throughout the world is going to introduce themselves to a beaten and abused military machine. Bill knows what he had to go through to get Reagan’s largesse under control. I think Bill clearly sees, as anyone with a head for numbers sees, that there is no way out of this mess we are in. The Bush Crime Family has all of us in a box canyon at high noon.
Bill knows, deep down, that Hillary and her temperment are not a good mix for a job that has quickly become a trip into the hottest, darkest most sulfur-smoldering parts of hell on Earth. No one in their right mind would want to become a person whose very nervous system would become the private property of the Federal Reserve system and, as such, would be tossed onto the ashheap of history when all was said and done.
And how do we know that Hillary is cratering under the pressure of this campaign and the disintegration of her marriage? I think former Senator Gary Hart captured it best in his most recent entry over at Huffington Post when he said, “She has essentially said that the Democratic party deserves to lose unless it nominates her.” And in so doing Hillary Clinton has broken the “final rule” of politics. I couldn’t agree more.
Ladies and gentlemen, Hillary Clinton is a monster and she hasn’t even darkened the door of the Oval Office. The stimulation is too great even for a woman of Hillary’s former caliber. Like all addicts who must “shoot the Moon” every so often to capture that ultimate experience that seems to have eluded them years ago, Hillary is now spiking herself like a scorpion running out of a bonfire. She is stinging herself repeatedly to kill the pain of the burn because the numbing effect of the toxin feels better than the sting and ache of burning flesh. One sting too many, one last hit from the crack pipe, and life as it was known before is no more. Self destruction feels better than facing the reality of the facts as put before you.