Clintons Still Want To Kill Caucuses: The Latest Round
The Clintons hate the caucus system, and they want to see it die.
First they finished third in Iowa. Then they were out-organized by Barack Obama's campaign in the caucuses after Super Tuesday. Finally, they lost the showdown at the rules committee over how to reinstate delegates from the banned Michigan and Florida primaries.
According to one well-placed source, President Clinton himself is still raw over reports of caucus tampering in Iowa that he believes could have tilted the race in Barack Obama's favor, and has mentioned that possibility several times in conversation. A separate source who is also close to Clinton says the idea that people were "bused in" from Illinois to caucus is still a concern, as well. (The Iowa Democratic Party is not required by law to release its caucus rolls, and has not done so.)
In part, this fits with the pattern of retrospective analysis and persistent "what-if" thinking on the part of some Clinton officials, such as when communications director Howard Wolfson remarked on Fox News that John Edwards cost Sen. Clinton the nomination -- a claim that was later partially debunked.
So while a debate about the use of caucuses might seem moot to some, it remains terribly important to Clinton loyalists. And thus the battle over their use rages on -- sometimes in private, and sometimes in quasi-public forums. The most recent flash point was last weekend's DNC platform committee meeting in Pittsburgh. Included among over 100 proposed amendments to the party's platform was Amendment 93, which would have banned caucuses from future nominating contests.
The Caucus system was just part of the Democratic Party Nominating Process.
Barack Obama maximized them on his way to winning the Democratic Party Nomination.
In my post How Obama Won - The 50 State Strategy, I pointed out this not-so-small fact:
There were caucuses in the following places:
Out of this list, Barack Obama LOST the DELEGATE COUNT in ONE Caucus - American Samoa.
Even though he ‘lost’ the Nevada Caucus, he received MORE DELEGATES than Hillary Clinton because of his success in RURAL Nevada.
He only tied her in one place, delegate wise - in Guam, which he won by 7 votes.
Everywhere else, he BEAT HER in the caucus states.
His final Pledged Delegate Tally from the Caucuses: 326
Hillary Clintons? : 176
Who is the usual participant of the Caucus system?
High-information voters; party activists.
I remember something Chuck Todd said on Tim Russert's weekend show: that the problems for Hillary Clinton should have been obvious to the media because of two factors:
a) she could ONLY get 200 SuperDelegates to commit to her beforehand
b) the strong resistance of the party activists towards her, as evident through the caucus system.
So, this Caucus System was ok. Sure, there was grumbling every once in awhile, but NOW it's a complete affront to democracy.
CAUSE THE BLACK MAN WON.
This is the Black story in America. You can call it 'moving the bar', 'changing the goalposts', however you want to tag it, but the story is still the same:
When Black folk figure out a way to win by the rules, suddenly the rules need to be changed.
For all the talk about Barack Obama opening doors for future Black candidates, I'll never forget a comment I read over at Field Negro - I'm paraphrasing:
They are studying Obama with precision, cause they're going to close everyway possible for any Negro coming down the pike. They ain't NEVAH gonna give another Negro the chance to explode the way that Obama did.
Earlier in the week, dnA wrote a piece for The Prospect:Obama's Racial Catch 22.
In Obama's Racial-Catch 22, in the comments section, posters discussed Tiger Woods, and how, Augusta had been FINE. It had been FINE through the years of Hogan...the domination of Palmer, then Nicklaus.
But, Tiger Woods wins TWO Masters, and suddenly, Augusta and other major course around the country, had to be ' re-designed.'
Same song, over and over again. Doesn't matter the arena- Sports, Politics, Business...
The moment we learn the rules enough to master them....either..
a) the rules are changed
b) a new rule book, that's NEVER been there before, appears.
We know the drill.