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.
And Only Count the Votes of Left-Handed People! And Only Count People Who Lettered in a Sport in High School! And…
“Right now, among all the primary states, believe it or not, Hillary’s only 16 votes behind in pledged delegates,” said the former president, “and she’s gonna wind up with the lead in the popular vote in the primary states. She’s gonna wind up with the lead in the delegates [from primary states].”
There are 40 primary states and territories; 18 caucuses.
“It’s the caucuses that have been killing us,” Bill Clinton said. “We can still win this thing. We’re gonna have a big victory in Pennsylvania. It’s gonna change the psychology even further, but we need your help.”
Other ways Sen. Hillary Clinton could be the nominee through creative math:
* Only count Arkansas and the states that border it (except for Mississippi, Louisiana and Missouri);
* Only count the votes of people who have heard Chelsea speak in person;
* Ballots en espanol only;
* Nomination determined by who does better in NCAA pool.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton today called on Barack Obama to “join me” in ensuring that Michigan and Florida delegates are seated.
“If you are a voter from Florida or Michigan, you know that we should count your vote,” Clinton said during a speech to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Washington.
“The nearly 2.5 million Americans in those two states who participated in the primary elections are in danger of being excluded from our democratic process — and I think that’s wrong.”
Clinton repeated her campaign’s proposed solution: Either honor the votes as cast in the two states’ primaries, or hold new primaries.
Obama’s spokesperson was not immediately available to respond to Clinton’s remarks.
Clinton won the Michigan and Florida primaries, but the Democratic National Committee is not honoring the results because the states broke party rules and held their contests early. Neither candidate campaigned in the states and Obama took his name off the Michigan ballot.
Obama’s campaign has said that the states’ delegates should be evenly divided between the candidates because the states broke the rules.
Hillary will even use her own daughter in order to win a few votes.
“We also have to reward work more,” Clinton told a small group of Ohio residents today. “and by that, I mean, I have people in New York working on Wall Street as investment managers, as hedge fund executives. Under the tax code, they can pay a lower percentage of their income in taxes on $50 million dollars, than a teacher, or a nurse, or a truck driver in Parma pays on $50,000. That’s very discouraging to people.”
The former first lady’s daughter, Chelsea Clinton, works for New York-based hedge fund Avenue Capital Group. She previously worked in New York for McKinsey & Company, her first job after graduating with her master’s degree from Oxford University.
Many of the superdelegates who could well decide the Democratic presidential nominee have already been plied with campaign contributions by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, a new study shows.
“While it would be unseemly for the candidates to hand out thousands of dollars to primary voters, or to the delegates pledged to represent the will of those voters, elected officials serving as superdelegates have received about $890,000 from Obama and Clinton in the form of campaign contributions over the last three years,” the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics reported today.
About half the 800 superdelegates — elected officials, party leaders, and others — have committed to either Clinton or Obama, though they can change their minds until the convention.
Obama’s political action committee has doled out more than $694,000 to superdelegates since 2005, the study found, and of the 81 who had announced their support for Obama, 34 had received donations totaling $228,000.
Clinton’s political action committee has distributed about $195,000 to superdelegates, and only 13 of the 109 who had announced for her have received money, totaling about $95,000.
Hillary Rodham Clinton, with no personal political experience of her own, becomes senator for New York state. Thanks to Bill Clinton pardoning convicted terrorists.
It was nearly 10 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, 1982. Two officers on New York Police Department’s elite bomb squad rushed to headquarters at One Police Plaza, where minutes earlier an explosion had destroyed the entrance to the building. Lying amid the carnage was Police Officer Rocco Pascarella, his lower leg blasted off.
“He was ripped up like someone took a box cutter and shredded his face,” remembered Detective Anthony Senft, one of the bomb-squad officers who answered the call 25 years ago. “We really didn’t even know that he was a uniformed man until we found his weapon, that’s how badly he was injured.”
About 20 minutes later, Mr. Senft and his partner, Richard Pastorella, were blown 15 feet in the air as they knelt in protective gear to defuse another bomb. Detective Senft was blinded in one eye, his facial bones shattered, his hip severely fractured. Mr. Pastorella was blinded in both eyes and lost all the fingers of his right hand. A total of four bombs exploded in a single hour on that night, including at FBI headquarters in Manhattan and the federal courthouse in Brooklyn.
The perpetrators were members of Armed Forces of National Liberation, FALN (the Spanish acronym), a clandestine terrorist group devoted to bringing about independence for Puerto Rico through violent means. Its members waged war on America with bombings, arson, kidnappings, prison escapes, threats and intimidation. The most gruesome attack was the 1975 Fraunces Tavern bombing in Lower Manhattan. Timed to go off during the lunch-hour rush, the explosion decapitated one of the four people killed and injured another 60.
On Aug. 7, 1999, the one-year anniversary of the U.S. African embassy bombings that killed 257 people and injured 5,000, President Bill Clinton reaffirmed his commitment to the victims of terrorism, vowing that he “will not rest until justice is done.” Four days later, while Congress was on summer recess, the White House quietly issued a press release announcing that the president was granting clemency to 16 imprisoned members of FALN. What began as a simple paragraph on the AP wire exploded into a major controversy.
Given all this, why would Bill Clinton, who had ignored the 3,226 clemency petitions that had piled up on his desk over the years, suddenly reach into the stack and pluck out these 16 meritless cases? (The New York Times ran a column with the headline, “Bill’s Little Gift.”)
Hillary Rodham Clinton was in the midst of her state-wide “listening tour” in anticipation of her run for the U.S. Senate in New York, a state which included 1.3 million Hispanics. Three members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus — Luis V. Gutierrez (D., Ill.), Jose E. Serrano, (D., N.Y.) and Nydia M. Velazquez, (D., N.Y.) — along with local Hispanic politicians and leftist human-rights advocates, had been agitating for years on behalf of the FALN cases directly to the White House and first lady.
Initial reports stated that Mrs. Clinton supported the clemencies, but when public reaction went negative she changed course, issuing a short statement three weeks after the clemencies were announced. The prisoners’ delay in refusing to renounce violence “speaks volumes,” she said.
The Clintons were caught in an awkward predicament of their own making. The president had ignored federal guidelines for commutation of sentences, including the most fundamental: The prisoners hadn’t actually asked for clemency.