Not sure if this is true (except for Cardoza switching), but if it is ... oh my:
The endorsement by US Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-California) of Obama today sends an extremely firm message to the Clinton campaign, and not only because he was, until today, a Clinton superdelegate.
The Field has learned that Cardoza is the first of a group of at least 40 Clinton delegates, many of them from California, that through talking among themselves came to a joint decision that all of them would vote for Obama at the convention. They have informed Senator Clinton that it’s time to unite around Obama, and that they will be coming out, one or two at a time, and announcing their switch between now and the convention if Senator Clinton doesn’t do the same.
Cardoza is one of the leaders of this effort (which includes not only superdelegates, but here’s something that should set off some paranoia in Camp Clinton: there are pledged Clinton delegates in “The Cardoza 40,” too). One Field Hand reports that during a recent Cardoza fundraising event in California the effort was discussed openly in front of other Democrats. Cardoza’s announcement, today, sent the message that the effort is serious and for real.
For the record, I think pledged delegates switching before their nominee drops out is absolute bullshit and unethical, so I’m not endorsing that move nor do I hope it’s true. Not that anyone would care.
I know Al Gore has stated emphatically that he doesn’t want to run for President, but am I the only person who’s surprised that, with all of the spittle-flecked rancor brewing over this primary, there isn’t any chatter, realistic or not, about drafting Gore to be the nominee and having him save the party from itself in Denver?
UPDATE: Well, the Draft Gore site from ‘04 is still up and has been updated for ‘08. Judging from the petition, it looks like a lot of people are stopping by.
Gov. David Paterson, who is right now being interviewed by WAMC’s Alan Chartock and taking calls from listeners on “Vox Pop,” just disagreed sharply with his presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, on her last-ditch efforts to seat the Florida and Michigan delegations. [...]
“I would say at this point we’re starting to see a little desperation on the part of the woman who I support and I’ll support until whatever time she makes a different determination,” Paterson said, adding: “I thought she was the best candidate and I thought she had the best chance of winning.”
Paterson, who is a DNC committee member and was present at the meeting when a vote was taken to penalize Florida and Michigan for moving their respective primaries ahead of the traditional starting contests in New Hampshire and Iowa, said he thought that decision was “a little unfair” and he “didn’t agree with it at the time.”
But he also noted “nobody was screaming” after that decision was made, although some people were unhappy with it, adding:
“There was a process. I thought at the time everybody agreed to it. I didn’t hear any objections from the candidates…So I would think the Democratic National Committee would leave it where it is.”
On Clinton’s claims regarding the popular vote and likening the fight to set the Florida and Michigan delegates to the civil rights movement, Paterson said:
“You have to rule out the undecideds in Michigan. You have to assume she won 100 percent to nothing in Michigan. I don’t think anybody in their right mind would do that, nor would they see it as a civil rights issue.”
And, yes, you’re right. Only women can be desperate. Cue the “SEXISM!” shrieks and spittle-flecked anti-Paterson comments all over the Hillarysphere. Points in comments for finding the best of ‘em. Bonus points for finding Hillshill comments that disparage Paterson for being black and blind.
By now a lot of you may have seen this utterly pathetic and hysterical appearance by Mary Kay Cosmetics rep (no joke!) and take-ball-go-homer Cynthia Ruccia, co-founder of “Clinton Supporters Count Too,” and Kimberly Myers, owner of Shitty Hand-Written Signs Emporium, on The O’Loofah Factor. If you haven’t seen it, make sure you check it out:
Just talked to a 55-year-old Columbus, Ohio resident named Cynthia Ruccia, a spokesperson and organizer for a group calling itself “Clinton Supporters Count Too.” She said the group—numbering in the hundreds, and organized in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Michigan—stands ready to boycott the Democratic Party if Clinton doesn’t win the nomination, and will work against superdelegates who support Obama over Clinton as a means of registering their displeasure with the party.
“We have a plan to campaign against the Democratic nominee,” the group said in a press release Thursday. “We have the (wo)manpower and the money to make our threat real. And there are millions of supporters who will back us up in the swing states. If you don’t listen to our voice now, you will hear from us later.”
Ruccia tells ABC News that she believes “millions” of women share her group’s views, though they have only begun to make contact with like-minded women. [...]
(Direct link to the article here, but be careful. Some ad-based code currently present there kept crippling my Firefox browser.)
For almost 14 years it had passed without comment that the local Congressman, John Kasich, the powerful chairman of the House Budget Committee, stretches his paycheck by sharing a Virginia town house for the two or three nights a week that Congress is in session. His housemate? His male chief of staff. Last month Cynthia Ruccia, Kasich’s Democratic challenger, called for a Justice Department investigation of what she said was “a serious appearance of impropriety” because Kasich, who is divorced, lived with someone whose government salary he controls.
That was the official question. What it unofficially implied was that the two men might be otherwise involved. Though Ruccia denies that she intended to leave that impression, Kasich’s office inevitably found itself having to deny that either man is gay. No federal investigation is likely. (To begin with, the Justice Department does not examine “appearances.’‘) As it happens, Ruccia had long been a high-profile supporter of gay rights and Kasich an occasional ally at best. (He voted yes on AIDS funding, no on gay marriage.) But by raising the issue, she stands to benefit from whatever doubt she creates in the minds of voters hostile to gays.
Even Democrats were crying foul. “It was the worst sort of gutter politics and gay baiting,” says Bob Fitrakis, Kasich’s 1992 Democratic opponent. And the gay community in Kasich’s congressional district also sensed an invitation to gay baiting. “It’s disappointing to see it from a party that has been the most progressive on the issues,” says Phil Martin, president of Stonewall Union, Ohio’s largest gay-rights organization, which counts Ruccia as a member.
This was in 1996 and it was the second time Ruccia had run against Kasich (she lost to him in ‘04). So as a Democrat and a supposed “high-profile supporter of gay rights,” she scurried for the gutter and tried gay-baiting her opponent. Charming. She was soundly defeated again, even after shamelessly stooping to wingnut-like and unethical douchebaggery. And then she lost again two years later running locally for an Ohio House seat. [source]
Which is why, ladies and gents, she decided to start giving (hold the laughter) “Wanna Win?” seminars. Wanna win? Seriously? I can see her conducting “Wanna Gay Bait?” or “Wanna Have Mary Kay Make Your Day?” or “Wanna Be A Petulant Pinhead?” seminars, but nothing having to do with “winning” elections.
Here’s a sample of the well-crafted wisdom Ruccia has rolled out for a fee:
Rachel Maddow was the only pundit on MSNBC on the night of the Indiana and North Carolina primaries who didn’t buy into the prevailing notion of the evening that Hillary Clinton was going to gracefully bow out of her presidential run. Even Keith Olbermann announced: “I disagree with Rachel. I don’t think it’s ever happened before.” You can watch her analysis of Hillary’s impending “all-out, scorched war” below (starting at about the 5:10 mark):
Starting yesterday, during both her appearance on Race for the White House and on her radio show on Air America, Rachel officially put the Democratic party on a ten-day suicide watch. I couldn’t find video or audio of either, but fortunately she posted her thoughts regarding this topic on her Air America blog:
When the Democratic primary calendar ends on June 3rd, Senator Obama will have more delegates than Senator Clinton.
On what grounds could a candidate who is behind at the end of a race avoid conceding that he or she has been beaten? On the grounds that the race really isn’t over!
After the primary calendar has ended, Clinton’s campaign can only justify or explain her staying in the race if she makes the case that the Democratic Party still has not chosen a nominee conclusively. Clinton needs an argument that the game should go into extra innings. Overtime. Bonus round. Detention. Whatever. Clinton has now found that argument—she says she will not stop campaigning until the issue of the Florida and Michigan delegates is settled to her satisfaction.
The Florida/Michigan issue get settled, of course, by the Democrats’ Rules and Bylaws Committee… unless of course that committee’s decision gets appealed to the Credentials Committee… unless of course that decision, too, gets appealed… to the floor of the convention.
Do you see where this is going? If there is an open, unresolved procedural issue involving the Florida and Michigan delegations, Senator Clinton will be able to cite that as her justification for staying in the race until the convention even though she is not ahead in the nomination contest at the end of the primary calendar.
If she can ensure that the Florida and Michigan issue stays unresolved until the convention (and by appealing it every step of the way, I don’t see how that can be avoided), then Clinton stays in the race until the convention. Staying in until the convention buys her three more months of campaign time, three more months to make her case to the party and the country, three more months for some potential political unfortunateness to befall Senator Obama.
And it keeps the race for the Democratic nomination open, at least theoretically, for Senator Clinton to win instead of Senator Obama.
I know this poll would be impossible to cobble together with factual data, but I’d love to see how many of Hillary’s female voters self-identified as being “feminists” before her coronation derailed (going back to, I guess, her loss in Iowa or maybe her drubbing in South Carolina). Those are some numbers I’d enjoy perusing, because with some of the vile stuff I’m seeing written by female Clintonites about Michelle Obama, Donna Brazile, Nancy Pelosi and Claire McCaskill, I’m having a hard time buying this “womyn power” bullshit emanating from Hillary’s dead-enders.
In Clinton Land, only sexism counts. Last night on MSNBC someone from the Clinton campaign was being interviewed on MSNBC, and she was going on about how Barack Obama needs to speak out about sexism, and the interviewer — might have been Tweety — asked if Clinton was going to speak out about racism. And the Clinton campaigner sputtered and shuffled and clearly was caught off guard by the question.
The difference between the two campaigns, IMO, is that while there is all kinds of blatant sexism and racism out there –some of which is being expressed by partisans on both sides –I don’t see the Obama campaign cultivating sexism to win votes. I do, however, see the Clinton campaign cultivating racism (and one hell of a victim complex) to win votes.
And in answer to that question about Clinton speaking out about racism, no, she’s not.
FUN FACT: Obama beat Clinton among women in Oregon last night. This whole perception that nearly every female Democrat supports Hillary, created by foot-stomping and disingenuous pettiness like this, is exceptionally flimsy, but hopefully everyone but the dead-enders realizes that by now.
MORE: Jonathan Chait’s editorial in the LA Times is worth a read.
In an interview after church services in Bowling Green on Sunday, Clinton for the first time addressed what women have been talking about for months, what she refers to as the “sexist” treatment she has endured at the hands of the pundits, media and others. The lewd T-shirts. The man who shouted “Iron my shirt” at a campaign event. The references to her cleavage and her cackle.
“It’s been deeply offensive to millions of women,” Clinton said. “I believe this campaign has been a groundbreaker in a lot of ways. But it certainly has been challenging given some of the attitudes in the press, and I regret that, because I think it’s been really not worthy of the seriousness of the campaign and the historical nature of the two candidacies we have here.”
Later, when asked if she thinks this campaign has been racist, she says she does not. And she circles back to the sexism. “The manifestation of some of the sexism that has gone on in this campaign is somehow more respectable, or at least more accepted, and . . . there should be equal rejection of the sexism and the racism when it raises its ugly head,” she said. “It does seem as though the press at least is not as bothered by the incredible vitriol that has been engendered by the comments by people who are nothing but misogynists.”
To everyone who thinks Obama needs to apologize for every sexist insult, real or imagined, directed at Hillary, I guess it’s okay for him to say that this campaign hasn’t been sexist.
One of the best new bloggers around, Betty Cracker, utterly demolishes faux-Democrats Mushy and Flowbee here and here. How can you not love a writer who comes up with lines like “pretty soon we’ll be farting through silk here at the Cracker Compound”? Just go read ‘em.