Friday, May 09, 2008

The orderly, unified Democratic Party

Is it me or has the Democratic Party come to seem more unified and less fractious in the last 48 hours? If this is the third day of the general election, I've got to say I am no longer too worried about the long primary's potential to tear the party asunder.

Hillary Clinton's claim (which I see now was referenced by Haahnster just below) that she appeals to "hard-working Americans, white Americans" is a destructive, divisive phrasing. It's an appeal to racial solidarity with Democrats in West Virginia and Kentucky, plus a coded implication that black Americans are not "hard working." Terrible. Old politics, ugly.

But it just doesn't have that old Clinton magic, you know? Her speech on Tuesday had an air of valediction. Her supporters are beginning to lay the groundwork for a concession. No one's going to try to argue that Kentucky and West Virginia will be game-changers. The superdelegates are moving at the exact same rate as they've been moving since February, which is in a slow trickle toward Obama. Michigan and Florida solutions no longer can reverse the result.

And I am not getting a vibe that Clinton and her supporters are ready to destroy the Democrats. Are you? For god's sake Terry McAuliffe says it will not go to the convention. The way it feels now, the ugliness of the primary could be a memory by June, and ancient history by November...


haahnster said...

I think you're playing the Keith Olbermann to my Rachel Maddow (a la Tuesday night on MSNBC).

I still smell some scorched earth...the smell is fading...but I'm not 100% convinced it won't be rekindled.

To be clear, I absolutely think HRC should stay in until at least May 20th. But, she would do well to drop the 'hard-working Americans, white Americans' bullshit.

Rob said...

Yep. The appeal to "white Americans" is gross.

I would expect Clinton to stays in until something is resolved with Florida and Michigan, which I think will happen May 31 when the rules committee meets? So then maybe she stays in until all the primaries are over a few days later.

If the contest is still going on by, say, June 15, I'll have to revisit what I'm saying here. But right now an early June finish doesn't seem too damaging to me...

haahnster said...

I agree that an early June finish should be OK. It will be a lot better if she doesn't spend the remainder of May attacking Obama.

Enough with the Rovian tactics.

stridewideman said...

I can't believe she said the thing about white americans. That is the naked soul of power hunger, right there.

Saxdrop said...

Chris Cilizza made a good point on NPR the other day: the extended primary actually strengthens the eventual nominee in very measurable ways (not just because they are "road tested):

1. Kerry locked up the nomination rather quickly in 04 and as a result did not have the ground game in as many states as either Hilary or (especially) Barry at this point.

2. An extended, competitive has emphasized the incentives for DNC donors to give more money. Both Hilary and Barry have way more money than Kerry ever did.

Of course this is not to say '08 is the same as '04. Of course we do not have a control election cycle to tes this theory, but I think this is a very tangible effect of this year's primary.