Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Barack Obama: Clinton Slayer

The Obama campaign and the mainstream media tell us that Hillary Clinton has been running a negative campaign. They insist that her continued presence in this race is damaging the Democratic Party. They have even taken to calling her the "Tonya Harding" of election strategists.

Have we all forgotten the following video from only last year?:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6h3G-lMZxjo


This was the ad that launched Barack Obama's campaign and was at the heart of his earliest recruiting efforts. It is the ad that best exemplifies what he and his campaign have truly been about.

Yes, supposedly, it was created by an independent source. Obama, however, never renounced it. He merely laughed it off as the creation of an overly enthusiastic supporter.

Hillary Clinton as "Big Brother"? Obama as the slayer of this oppressive overlord? This was no subtle statement, but Barack Obama allowed its venomous message of generational warfare to spread until it had built for him his now-solid base of angry, cynical, Clinton-hating support.

In this ad, the hammer that smashes Hillary Clinton in the face and causes her image to explode has been far more damaging to the long-term interests of the Democratic Party than that crowbar was to Nancy Kerrigan's kneecaps.

And yet the mainstream media -- led most notoriously by MSNBC's Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann -- continues to perpetuate the myth that Obama has run a campaign built on such concepts as hope and unity. "Hope" and "unity" are not enough to sell a first-term Senator with so few accomplishments. No. Cynicism and divisiveness have much greater appeal. Ask Orwell. It is with this cynicism and divisiveness that the Obama campaign has fueled itself -- while simultaneously and disingenuously portraying itself as the bringer of a new kind of politics. (For further evidence of this, visit AttackTimeline.com)

The irony is that it is now Barack Obama who occupies that Orwellian screen, and it is his supporters who now sit captive in the audience. Perhaps Hillary Clinton has a good hammer-throw left in her yet.

Should, however, Barack Obama indeed win the Democratic nomination -- and when he then loses to John McCain in the general election -- let us remember how his campaign was born and what his message truly was.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Dear John: It's Now Time to Endorse Hillary

An Open Letter to Senator John Edwards
from Will Bower


Dear Senator Edwards,

I am not writing to you that I might sing the praises of one candidate or condemn the actions of another. You already know the faults and merits of Senator Clinton and Senator Obama more intimately than most of us ever will.

I am not writing to you in outrage over the now-(in)famous preachings of the the now-(in)famous Reverend Wright. You by now have heard these sermons for yourself and have come to your own conclusions.

I am writing to you because Barack Obama -- for all his many strengths and merits -- is no longer an electable candidate in his 2008-bid for the White House.

To win the White House, a candidate must win Ohio in November. To win Ohio in November, a candidate must win the independent voters of that state. The events of this past week have lost Barack Obama those very voters, and irrevocably.

If you want your party to win the White House in 2008 -- and if you want it to do so as peaceably as possible -- you now must endorse Senator Clinton.

I could have written to Al Gore about this matter, but his resentment towards the Clintons is all but too well-known. I could have written to Nancy Pelosi, but she has already abused her power as a potential broker in this situation in such a way as to make her voice illegitimate. I could have written to Jimmy Carter, but he would not have the same impact on this race as could you.

That leaves only you, Senator Edwards.

I am not writing to you to tell you how your endorsement of Senator Clinton might help you in your own causes. You already have an idea as to this as well.

I am not writing to tell you that Senator Obama still will have a bright future waiting for him; whether it be in the halls of the Senate, or in the State House of Illinois, or perhaps -- one day, in the years to come -- in the White House itself. You already know of the many great things Senator Obama can still do for our nation.

I am writing to you to shine a light on the fact that you now are the last, best hope of giving an endorsement which will actually help your party; especially with your party being in the predicament in which it now finds itself.

Now is the time, Senator Edwards, for you to endorse Senator Clinton for President of the United States in 2008.

Thank you,

Will Bower

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

THERE SHAN'T BE BLOOD

THERE SHAN'T BE BLOOD
An Outline to a Democratic Drama in 3 Acts


The Characters:

Former President James (Jimmy) Carter
Former Vice President Albert (Al) Gore
Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid
Illinois Senator Barack H. Obama
Arizona Senator John S. McCain
New York Senator Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton

The Democratic Delegates
The Democratic Super Delegates
The Democratic Party
The United States of America


The Locations:

Washington DCDenverWashington DC



Act I
Washington DC


Scene I:
Carter, Gore, Reid, Obama, and Hillary Clinton enter a secluded chamber.

Scene II:
Carter, Gore, Reid, Obama, and Hillary Clinton -emerge- from a secluded chamber.

Scene III:
Carter and Reid step to the lectern.

Scene IV:
Carter announces his decision to nominate a Gore/Obama ticket at the 2008 Convention in Denver.

Scene V:
Reid announces that he will be retiring from the Senate, and that he will be nominating Hillary Clinton as the next Senate Majority Leader.


Act II
Denver

Scene I:
The Delegates and the Super Delegates enter a secluded chamber.

Scene II:
The Delegates and the Super Delegates -emerge- from a secluded chamber.

Scene III:
The Delegates and the Super Delegates announce that they have nominated Al Gore to be the Democratic Nominee for President in 2008.

Scene IV:
Gore announces that he has chosen Barack Obama to be his running mate for the White House in 2008.

Scene V:
Gore/Obama beat McCain by a chad-proof margin in the General Election in November.


Act III
Washington DC

Scene I:
Hillary Clinton becomes Senate Majority Leader

Scene II:
Gore become President of the United States

Scene III:
Obama becomes Vice President of the United States

Scene IV:
The Delegates, the Super Delegates, and the Democratic Party experience a new Golden Age.

Scene V:
The United States of America lives Happily-Ever-After.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

PROPOSAL FOR 2012 PRIMARIES

Based on a hypothetical schedule for 2008

By Will Bower
(with contributions by Mike Shaffer)



The system by which we choose our presidential candidates obviously is flawed.

The primary calendar we need most is one that is built on an orderly and rational plan -- one that is based on mathematics and on recent historical outcomes. This would provide for a more effective and equitable system than the one we have now.

The following factors are the key ones to consider:

Margin of Victory

- States would be placed in order according to each state's margin of victory from the preceding general election.

For example, John Kerry won Wisconsin by 0.3% and George W. Bush won Iowa by 0.9%; conversely, Kerry won Massachusetts with 62%, and Bush won Utah with approximately 70%. Therefore, the Primary calendar I propose would commence with primaries being held in states such as Wisconsin and Iowa -- and would close with such states as Massachusetts and Utah.

- The purpose of ordering the states according to the margin of victory is to help the parties determine which candidates can appeal to those states that have found themselves most recently on the Electoral Divide. A narrow margin in the general election demonstrates an evenly divided electorate. In this scenario, a candidate who appeals to Wisconsin and New Mexico is more likely to appeal to a greater number of Americans on the whole.


Iowa, New Hampshire, and Fairness

- Iowa and New Hampshire might object to this new system, given their longstanding tradition on being the first states to cast their ballots. However, so long as Iowa and New Hampshire retain their record of being fairly bipartisan states, they’ll maintain their position towards the front of the primary schedule.

- As we've recently seen in the case of Michigan and Florida, just because a state should have its primary later in the season does not mean that that state will not prove invaluable to the process. Pennsylvania won't be until April 22nd this year but could very well decide the fate of the 2008 Democratic nomination.

- This new system allows other states to play a greater role in how the parties select their candidates. For example, Wisconsin and New Mexico would have been two of the states to get the limelight in 2008, followed soon thereafter by Ohio and Pennsylvania. Likewise, based on the results to come in November of 2008, a still-different slate of states could have a more significant role come 2012. A rotating system will be healthier and fairer.


Groupings of Five, and Timing & Spacing.

- By placing states into groupings of five, no one state will be overly-emphasized on any give date.

- Candidates will still need to address the concerns of individual states, whilst having to maintain an overall national platform. For example, a candidate will be less able to campaign against NAFTA in Ohio whilst campaigning for it in New Mexico.

- Given that each state has it’s own system for electing it’s delegates, these groupings of five states well act as an overall balancer. States with caucuses, states with open primaries, and states with closed primaries can all coexist within a grouping, therefore no one system will hold too much influence on any given date.

- Primaries will be held biweekly, giving candidates and the media enough time to process and respond to the outcomes of each wave of primaries.

- Washington DC will be placed in the same grouping as whichever state -- Virginia or Maryland -- is closer to it’s own margin of victory.

- American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and Americans-Abroad -- not having Electoral votes of their own -- will determine their own Primary dates, so long as they occur between the first grouping and last groupings.


Under these proposed guidelines, the calendar for the 2008 primaries would have been:

January 2008

Tue, 1/8

Wisconsin
Iowa
New Mexico
New Hampshire
Ohio


Tue, 1/22

Pennsylvania
Nevada
Michigan
Minnesota
Oregon


Tue, 2/5

Colorado
Florida
New Jersey
Missouri
Washington


Tue, 2/12

Delaware
Virginia
Hawaii
Maine
California


Tue, 2/26

Connecticut
Illinois
Arizona
Arkansas
North Carolina

Tue, 3/11

West Virginia
Maryland
District of Columbia
Tennessee
Louisiana
Georgia


Tue, 3/25

South Carolina
New York
Mississippi
Kentucky
Vermont


Tue, 4/8

Montana
Indiana
Rhode Island
South Dakota
Texas


Tue, 4/22

Massachusetts
Kansas
Alaska
Alabama
North Dakota


Tue, 5/6

Oklahoma
Nebraska
Idaho
Wyoming
Utah



Will Bower
Washington DC
William.Bower@Alumni.Kenyon.edu