Thursday, June 05, 2008

How Obama Won: The Past Helps The Present

I wanted to write some posts about How and Why Barack Obama won this nomination.

When people say that the past leads to the present, that is truly what it means.

There would be no Barack Obama without Jesse Jackson's run for the Presidency.
Barack Obama wound up getting over 90 Percent of the Black vote. Without it, he would not have won the nomination, and without Jesse Jackson's work previously, those Black votes would not have helped Obama- delegate wise.

The cornerstone of the Obama campaign is that they understood that DELEGATES would win this nomination. Those were the rules, and he set out to win the pledged delegate race, understanding the ins and outs of the Democratic Party rules. In doing so, Obama expanded upon Howard Dean's 50 State Strategy and used it to perfection.

There have been other candidates with the 'appeal' of a Barack Obama. What I mean by that - appealing, as Chris Matthews says, to the ' ideals' of the Democratic Party. There have been repeated ' insurgent' candidates, usually appealing to the more activist, idealist, progressive, more well-educated part of the Democratic Party. And, they were, without exception, save for McGovern, always defeated by the 'Establishment' candidate ultimately.

What made the difference for Obama?

His addition of the Black vote - the most loyal base of the Democratic Party - to the usual 'insurgent candidate' constituency.

The WAY delegates are apportioned in the Democratic Party - not only in a proportional system, rather than the winner-take-all of the Republican Party, but also rewarding districts that have voted LOYALLY for the Democratic Party IN PREVIOUS ELECTIONS with MORE DELEGATES, is the cornerstone of HOW Barack Obama has been able to win, and weather the storm.

There has been no group more loyal to the Democratic Party than Black voters. Erego, when Obama won those Black districts by such large percentages, not only did he beat Hillpatine, but he won more delegates. Hillary could go into a state like Texas, with far more Latino voters than Black voters, but because Black voter participation in PREVIOUS elections was so much higher than the Latino vote, in 2008, winning predominantly Black districts brought more delegates to Obama than Hillary's wins in Latino districts.

I don't believe most Black folk understand that this is how Jesse helped Barack out. Because, it was Jesse Jackson and his think tank, that got this system of distribution put in place as far as delegate allocation; set up that part of the Democratic System. Rewarding PREVIOUS loyalty.

Post North Carolina, Andrew Sullivan wrote the following:

Black Voters Did It

Here's what now seems obvious: African-American voters killed the Clinton candidacy. It is a fitting end to the Clintons' campaign and an almost Shakespearean coda to their career. The Clintons were exposed in their long-running exploitation and reliance on minority votes. No group was more loyal to them than African-Americans; and in the end, like everyone else, African-Americans realized that the Clintons are frauds, disloyal to the core, cynical to their finger-tips, and finally, finally, returned the favor.

After what the Clintons did in this campaign, and what they've revealed about themselves, and their alliance with Fox News and Bill Kristol and Pat Buchanan, this couldn't be more appropriate.

This will be history's verdict: in the end, the Clintons were defeated not by Republicans, but by African-American Democrats. How wonderful. How poignant. In the end, the karma gets you. Maybe it had to be this way. But this final coup de grace against these awful, hollow, cynical people is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

I couldn't agree more with Mr. Sullivan.

I know, at times, that I have seemed very strident on the issue of Hillpatine. But, that's because I felt, in my gut, what the long-term ramifications of her success would be:

The blueprint by which any Black candidate with aspirations higher than a gerrymandered Congressional Seat would be TAKEN OUT.

I didn't see it any other way.

Barack Obama's defeat wouldn't have been the exception; it would have been THE RULE.

And that, was unacceptable.


When the racebaiting began, it wasn't even about Obama anymore. It was beyond him. It was about whether or not we were going to be shoved to the 'Back of the Bus', politically, to dwell in perpetual serfdom.


As a community, I believe we have learned a great deal along the way, and we need not be afraid of it.

Embrace democracy. Be not afraid of it, and if some of the HHH gots-to-go, then they've ' GOT TO GO'.

Black people didn't get their citizenship legally recognized in full until 1965. It's time to grab ahold of this moment, and push forward, recognizing all the work of those who have come before and sacrificed.


UPDATE: Got this history lesson from a JJP reader

That proportional system was negotiated by Jesse himself:

Superdelegates Should Not Decide the Nominee

In 1988, Dukkakis led in pledged delegates and Rev. Jesse Jackson had accumulated roughly one thousand delegates from the primaries. Prior to ceding the nomination, he brokered a deal called Rule 13B that allowed delegates to be proportionately awarded whenever a candidate obtained at least 15% of the vote, going forward.

Without rule 13B, Hillary wins.

1 comment:

Truthiz said...

Your entire post stated it EXACTLY right!

The defining “difference” for Obama was the BLACK vote; more specifically, the WORKING-class BLACK votes.

The minute that Bill and Hillary Clinton panicked and decided to dismiss the Working-class BLACK vote_

"the most loyal base of the Democratic Party”_

_Hillary committed the political equivalent of slicing her own wrists! She lost too much blood and never recovered.

The Democratic Party knows that FOR DECADES the "BLACK" vote has been_and continues to be_ its life’s blood.

The majority of “White working-class” voters have NOT voted Democratic since the Dixiecrats jumped ship, in mass, during the 60s and became RepubliCONS in protest of LBJ signing into law the Civil Rights legislation.

And so-called “Reagan Democrats” haven’t voted Democrat since the 80s in protest of “Affirmative Action”. Ironically, the stats now show that the BIGGEST group to benefit from Affirmative Action is WHITE women.

And I'll bet Geraldine Ferraro’s azz would have "no comment" on that!

But I digress.

If the Dems lose the Black vote, they lose the Presidency…or in Hillary’s case, the nomination. For all her touting that she carried the “White working-class” vote_ the actual percentage WASN'T enough to save her.

And NOW she knows it!