13 February, 2008

Post Potomac Tuesday Reaction

While I am, of course, excited that Obama had a very good day yesterday, I must also admit to some dismay over how the Clinton campaign has strategized since what must have been a disappointing Super Tuesday.

This complete dismissal of the relevancy of the primaries and caucuses between Super Tuesday and March 4, the date of the Ohio and Texas primaries (along with Rhode Island and Vermont), seems to be a huge mistake, yet the ego and confidence associated with this decision is troubling. Beyond just marginalizing the voters in those states (“Sorry, you just aren’t worth enough delegates...”), it strikes me as bad strategy. Why on earth would you want to give so much momentum to your opponent?

I know that with the proportional system for delegates “winning a state” may be hard to get terribly excited about, BUT we are not talking about close victories here. We are talking about dominant, open-up-a-can-of-primary-whoopass kind of victories. REAL victories. Victories that allow a gain in BOTH delegates and momentum. Wouldn’t you want to dig in your heels somewhere sooner than March 4 and try and flex some muscle to demonstrate to your base that you are not “slipping” and are still indeed a viable candidate?

So why as an unabashed Obama supporter would I be troubled by these seemingly obvious guffaws by the Clintons? Because I fear that the legacy-minded ego - dare I call it hubris - of the Clintons is so strong that not only might this Democratic Party nomination process devolve into a civil war, but they just might engage in some kind of political slash and burn policy that would be far more damaging to this country, not just in race relations which have come a long way but need to come further (and don’t need any setbacks), but also to the general attitude towards politics and governance in this country.

If the ultimate backlash is an increase in a disenfranchised and disinterested, and more importantly disengaged citizenry, behavior such as this will only become more acceptable in the future.

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