Presidential Campaign

Presidential Campaign

More and More Cover for Obama

The possibility that Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) could drop his support for Hillary Clinton and endorse Barack Obama is one of the most ominous signs yet for her. Certainly Lewis feels tremendous pressure to do so because his constituents in Georgia voted overwhelmingly for Obama on Super Tuesday. But the Clintons know this isn't just any one congressman bowing to the winds of his district.

Lewis, the civil rights leader and hero to many, provides the kind of cover Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) gave many establishment Democrats to support Obama. It may not begin an avalanche, but it will release more than a few Democrats, both black and white, to support Obama.

Ask A.B.: Delegates & Endorsements

The Hill's Associate Editor, A.B. Stoddard answers questions about the future of Hillary's campaign, upcoming primaries, and pending democratic endorsements.


McCain and the Right

A week or so ago, I got a call from a well-known supporter of Arizona Sen. John McCain (R), who urged me to hop aboard his bandwagon because “he will be the party’s nominee and you have to support him.” I found this an intriguing argument made on behalf of a candidate whose very persona has been built on an oft-expressed hostility to the very concept of “party loyalty.” I demurred, telling my caller that while there are strong arguments to be made that might convince a conservative who disagrees with much of what McCain has done and said over the years to support him now, an argument based on “party loyalty” is not one of them.

Until very recently, McCain and his closest supporters insisted that conservative voters have no problems with him, but that a few inside-the-Beltway conservatives and talk show types who don’t like him had created the illusion of a problem that didn’t, in fact, exist. In typical McCain fashion, his reaction to criticism was to deny that there was any reason for it and then attack the critics.

The Democrats' Dilemma

The Democratic Party has historically been the party of FAIRNESS, fairness in all things big and small. They spearheaded the drive to pick most delegates by mass primaries, not by party leaders — in the name of fairness. They allocate their convention delegates proportionately, not winner-take-all — in the name of fairness. They have rigid quotas for women and minority participation as delegates — all in the name of fairness.

Yet the Democratic convention is facing the real possibility of two nomination scenarios, neither of which could be considered “fair,” nor even particularly democratic (small d). It is possible that the Democratic nominee will be chosen either by so-called “superdelegates” who are unelected or by delegates from two states whose primaries were ruled invalid by the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

Answer to Lanny Davis and Hillary Clinton Calling for Fixing the Nomination

Lanny is a brilliant and articulate voice of a past that Americans want ended and his argument, and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-N.Y.), that the will of the people can be overturned by the arrogance of insiders, is wrong, and will lose.

It is revealing that Lanny quotes the history of the past, not even the 1990s, but the 1980s. He quotes the dead hand of a past that is abhorrent to the enormous majority of Americans who want business as usual in politics ended, and want the future to begin, now.

In Lanny's world, and Sen. Clinton's world, the primaries mean nothing. The caucuses mean nothing. The surge of voters in record and historic numbers mean nothing.

The 'Superdelegates': Always Intended to be Independent

There is certainly a valid concern expressed by those who fear that the 796 "superdelegates" to the August 2008 Democratic National Convention — Democratic elected officials, party officials and VIPs — might make the difference in delivering the nomination to the candidate who wins fewer pledged delegates out of the primaries and caucuses. To some, such a result would seem "undemocratic."

But let's not rewrite history. When the superdelegates were first created by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in 1982, they were intended to be independent, able to vote for any candidate, regardless of the outcome of the primaries or caucuses in their own congressional districts or states.

Obama Makes it Eight in a Row

You gotta admit, the guy’s on a roll. Chalk up three more wins for Barack Obama: substantial wins in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. On top of big wins over the weekend in Washington, Nebraska, Louisiana, Maine and the Virgin Islands.

That makes eight straight wins for the senator from Illinois — and eight straight losses for the senator from New York. The Democratic primary’s still far from over, but, for now, Obama’s clearly the front-runner. And Clinton’s suddenly the underdog.

Where'd They Get the Money?

I don’t agree with Brent Budowsky on anything.

But he raises a good point about the Clinton friends contemplating independent expenditures to help Hillary beat back Obama.

Mr. Budowsky says that the Clinton Gang ought not go there when it comes to skirting the laws put in place by George Soros.

I know that ole Brent is shocked that the Clinton gang is thinking about breaking the law to get their girl elected. That certainly doesn’t shock me, nor most other Americans.

Will Clinton Money Bosses Break Campaign Finance Laws?

Word is spreading behind the scenes that some of the largest Clinton campaign donors, with long relationships with Hillary and Bill and inter-locking relationships with the Clinton campaign, are considering massive "independent" spending campaigns.

Bad plan. As word becomes public, there will be a huge backlash and extremely grave potential legal implications.

If these folks are truly independent as defined by federal law, I will be selected by the College of Cardinals as the next Pope. Both are equally plausible.

The New Racist

It's fascinating how the overwhelming majority of American blacks are supporting Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), whereas the black elite leadership is solidly in support of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).

The question that immediately comes to mind is whether the black leadership has lost step with its core constituency and a new trend in American politics. Ironically, white males are much more likely to support Obama than are black politicians and elected officials.

This is a watershed moment in American racial politics. On one hand the black electorate seems to be fascinated with the possibility of electing a black president; black politicians, on the other hand, are working on the assumption that he's ultimately unelectable. Moreover, they do not see him as possessing the authentic class bona fides of a black political insider, despite the fact that he has been an urban community organizer in black communities, attends a black church, and is married to an undoubtedly and unashamedly powerful black woman.