Sunday, February 10, 2008

What Now?

I haven't posted anything on politics since before Romney dropped out. No surprise there, and it was the right thing to do. So half of my Super Tuesday prediction holds up. (Do I get a prize?)

As for the other half, Clinton leads in the delegate count, but Obama has won more states. With all the Democrat primaries having proportional allocation of delegates, it's unlikely either one will get the separation necessary to win the 2025 total delegates it takes to be the nominee outright before their convention.

This presents a pair of problems (for them; for me it presents even more interesting lesson plans). Problem one is what happens with the "superdelegates," the 796 Democrat bigwigs who get to vote at the convention who are not beholden to any primary voters. Clinton has more support among these insiders. Obama will (I think rightfully) feel more than a little used if he wins more delegates or more states, and yet still loses. There's also the little problem of the two states (Michigan and Florida) that Clinton "won" by being the only one on the ballot, since the Dems stripped them of their delegates. What will they do if (when) she starts demanding that those votes be counted? ("The people of Florida had their votes stolen by Bush and his evil cronies on the Supreme Court in 2000, and now WE must count every vote!") It's entirely possible that by convention time, the Democrat nomination could be in limbo, or even in court!

And this leads to yet another scenario--normally the party convention is a carefully-scripted coronation of the known winner (both parties do it). The nominee sets the agenda, the platform, the order of speeches, etc. What if there's no winner? We haven't seen a convention like this in my lifetime (last one was Dems in Chicago, 1968--and THAT was a disaster). Once again, for me it's not a disaster--it's a chance to write a brand-new (and interesting) lesson plan. But if I were a Democrat, I might worry.

Still, I stand by my prediction. In the end, I hope it's Obama, but think it's Hillary. Then comes the big question: will he "take one for the team" and run as her veep to help paper over any divisions caused by her win? If I were him, I wouldn't--he's still young enough to run on his own later as a guy with no connections to any Bush or Clinton. He loses some of his "agent of change" mojo if he associates with her.

All I can say for sure is that this is one of the most fascinating elections ever. I don't recall ever caring so much about either party's primary results. For a politics junkie, this is fun!

1 comment:

bekster said...

Hmmm, I'm the opposite... I THINK it's Obama but HOPE it's Hillary (so that McCain has a chance of beating her).

This IS fun. Even for someone like me who started out with limited knowledge of such things, it is very interesting. What will be even MORE interesting will be seeing what the elected president actually DOES once they're in there...