Tag Archives: democrats

Politics

Gore backs Obama

Al Gore has come out in support of the Democratic nominee Barack Obama.

After Bill Clinton’s repeated meltdowns during the primary season, Gore is probably now the most respected Democrat in the party.  Many still see him as having won the 2000 election, and now that he won a Nobel Prize he’s doing pretty well for himself.

This is only major news because Gore stayed neutral on purpose during the whole Democratic primary.

The former vice president turned Nobel Prize winner playfully said he recalled one Republican nominee wondering out loud whether his Democratic rival for president was “naive and inexperienced.”

“And yet another said the United States cannot afford to risk the future of the free world with inexperience and immaturity in the White House,” said Gore. “Who were they talking about? Every single one of those quotes came from the campaign of 1960, when the the Republicans attacked John Fitzgerald Kennedy for allegedly lacking the age and experience necessary to be president.”

I think it’s funny that the first statement he made was going back to the whole JFK comparisons that have been all over this campaign.

What’s amusing is that the Republican’s big comeback is that Sen. Lieberman (the other half of Gore’s 2000 ticket) has endorsed McCain a while ago, and Gore’s only now coming out in support of Obama.

[Source: CNN]

Featured Politics

Edwards Endorses Obama

It’s funny, this is huge news, and yet it also isn’t.

John Edwards has finally made a decision in who to endorse, and has officially come out on behalf of Barack Obama. This will probably be the final blow to Clinton, but comes as no real surprise considering how much of an insurmountable lead Obama has.

There has also been a lot of talk that Edwards is gunning for a VP spot, and while I don’t doubt that this plays some factor, I also don’t believe he would get it. After Edwards’ failed VP run with Kerry during the last election, I think he’d be too much of a political liability. Instead, I think Edwards can expect a plum cabinet post, or possibly the Attorney General job if Obama becomes the president.

Newsweek is arguing that this will help Obama amongst white male voters. He’s obviously struggling to capture this vote, as his pummeling in West Virginia shows. However, I don’t think Edwards has the same pull as other Democrats may with the the so-called NASCAR Democrats. Despite actually being a Southern boy, he doesn’t come across with the down-home sensibility that is required to pull these voters for Obama. Despite his actual wealth, Edwards does seem to have some credit with lower-income Americans, having spent much of his campaign on extolling the need to address their problems. This can help Obama, as his largest appeal seems to be with the slightly higher-income demographic.

One thing is for sure, with Edwards coming out and publicly endorsing Obama, I think we’ll see another surge of Superdelegates moving over and finally declaring their support. Even if they wait for the formality of special meeting to do so, I think it’s over for Clinton.

Ideally, this will also push Clinton to start reducing her vitriol. Even if she continues to ‘campaign’, and refuses to concede, she should be careful not to stir up more trouble and damage Obama too much. It doesn’t help anyone to continue the infighting.

Edwards and Obama made a carefully staged announcement, calling for Democrats to unite against the McCain threat. It’s a smart move, because in many ways it further sidelines Clinton. Instead of even paying attetnion to what’s left of her campaign, Obama’s already acting like the nominee. Considering that it’s absolutely mathematically impossible for Clinton to win, I think that’s a safe bet. If the Democrats have any chance of winning, it’s important that they actually make a decision soon.

For those of you who missed it, John McCain made an appearance on Saturday Night Live, and you can watch it below.

McCain was quite clever and on point. Despite the fact that it was very obvious he was reading the teleprompter (his eyes were nowhere near the camera), he was making some very good points. He was teasing the Democrats and used the hosts of Weekend Update to mutter a “That’s right, fight amongst yourselves” that actually made me laugh. He knows that the longer the Democrats take to pick a candidate, the better his chances are.

That should be a major message to the Dems. if the Republicans are well aware of how your infighting is helping them, maybe it’s time to stop the bleeding.

Politics

Obama’s ideal VP choice

Real Clear Politics, a site I honestly am not so familiar with has put up a startling poignant article about just who should be chosen to be Obama’s VP running mate.  Obviously this is assuming Obama wins the nomination, but realistically he probably will.

Despite Clinton’s…reluctance to concede the nomination, Obama recently took the lead in nearly absolute terms.  Above and beyond his lead in pledged delegates he has recently had some of Clinton’s superdelegates defect to his side, giving him the lead overall.

Now all the political pundits are saying that Clinton is going all out to at least receive the VP nod.  RCP ‘s Gerald Pomper (who is also Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Rutgers)  makes the claim that Clinton would not actually be that useful to Obama.  Rightly so, Pomper notes that Clinon’s strength with women voters isn’t that important.  Women have often overwhelmingly supported the democratic nominee, so it is not likely that their votes would be lost without Clinton present.  However, Clinton’s big strength to Obama is with blue collar workers and hispanic voters.

So, Pomper goes so far as to say that Sen. Jim Webb, the junor senator from Virginia.  He is, in essence, the Republican’s worst enemy.  Obama’s eloquence and strength with intellectuals and white collar voters is important.  His mere presence is inspiring.  Webb, on the other hand, brings a lot of experience to the table.  Webb is a Vietnam vet who was actually wounded in battle (thus avoiding the Swift Boating that toppled Kerry) and was actually the Secretary of the Navy at one point.  This rather extensive foreign policy/military experience would be a huge advantage to Obama.  The biggest criticism people make of him is his general lack of experience.  Having a war veteran and slightly more experienced legislator on your side can’t hurt.

Pomper makes this argument:

Webb also would bring specific political advantages to the Democratic ticket. His rural roots, vigorous language and championing of working class values would compensate for Obama’s evident weaknesses among these voters. Webb provides a populist platform on corporate regulation, trade, taxation and health care that would further extend the party’s appeal to its lower-income base. Born in Missouri, educated in Nebraska, California and the Naval Academy in Maryland, he encapsulates a national electoral appeal. Finally, to the limited extent that state residence matters, he would help to switch Virginia into the Democratic column for the first election since 1964.

All-in-all it’s a pretty convincing argument.  Not that we have anything against Hillary, but I think that we shouldn’t be blinded by the progressive message a Obama-Clinton ticket would send.  They are both extremely capable, but it’s important to remember that there may be other things to consider when making a VP choice.   If Obama wins the nomination, he should be focusing on what would beat McCain in the fall, and not fear the fallout of snubbing Clinton.