July 11, 2007

Hillary Inevitable? What Barack has in his favor.

This is a great post on MyDD. You'll find great videos as well as excellent reasons why Barack Obama is as likely to come out ahead in the primaries as Hillary Clinton. MyDD :: Hillary Inevitable? What Barack has in his favor.
All the videos are also posted on YouTube by lovingj, if you'd like to check them all out. I especially recommend the one with Obama paying tribute to Al Gore and speaking on global warming, but others are great as well. http://www.youtube.com/user/lovingj1

Hillary Inevitable? What Barack has in his favor.

Let me begin by saying this is not an attack the opposing candidate diary because the MyDD community gets more than its fair share of this type (i.e. Tod Bennett did an interesting diary on this topic called On Obama "Worshippers" Kool-Aid and Haircuts). I do not believe Hillary Clinton is inherently evil nor do I believe that John Edwards lacks genuine authenticity when it comes to his commitment to poverty. However, I think the blogosphere is premature to conclude that Hillary's nomination is inevitable based on this current early polling.

Hillary Clinton has been carrying a consistent 10 point lead over Barack Obama in the national polls. This trend, without a doubt, has cemented in most people's mind a certain amount of inevitability to Hillary Clinton's candidacy. But before anyone else in the Democratic party suggests short-circuiting the 2008 presidential nomination process and just handing the crown to Hillary Rodham Clinton, consider this: the Democratic party has rarely nominated its front runner in non-incumbent years. John Kennedy was not the frontrunner in 1960, it was former Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson . . . or Texas Senator Lyndon Johnson . . . or Missouri Senator Stuart Symington . . . or Minnesota Senator Hubert Humphrey . . . which is why Kennedy had to campaign and win in all seven primaries that year to prove himself to the party elders.

In 1968, underdog Robert Kennedy would have surely wrested the nomination from the front runner, Vice President Humphrey, had he not been assassinated. And that's because the real frontrunner, incumbent President Lyndon Johnson, had been chased from the field by yet another underdog, Senator Gene McCarthy of Minnesota. In 1972, Senator Edmund Muskie and not the eventual nominee, Senator George McGovern, was the frontrunner. He fell to the peace candidate's grassroots brigade. McGovern also, for the first time, successfully used the Iowa caucuses to his advantage and developed important momentum, just as "Jimmy who?" Carter would do in 1976.

Only in 1984 did the frontrunner, Walter Mondale, win the nomination, after almost losing to the candidate of "new ideas," Senator Gary Hart. But four years later, in 1988, Michael Dukakis was certainly not the frontrunner when he won his party's nomination.

Senator Clinton knows from personal experience that her husband was not the frontrunner in 1992--New York Governor Mario Cuomo was. The next non-incumbent year, 2000, actually saw the frontrunner, Vice President Al Gore win the nomination. But this was, in many ways, the third nomination of Clinton, not the first for Gore. And we all remember in 2004 when Howard Dean emerged as the leader of the pack over a talented field that included Senators John Kerry, John Edwards, and Joe Lieberman. Unbelievably, for all the hype Howard Dean recieved that year as frontrunner he still did not go on to win the nomination.

Times are good for Senator Clinton as far as polling is concern, however, she trails Senator Obama in every other measure of candidate interest. Obama dominates all the candidates in the field in terms of fundraising, crowd size, and overall excitement. Furthermore, he is proposing policies and changes in government that the American electorate has long been yearning for . . . a return to good government. Universal healthcare, global warming and even our current Iraq quagmire will not truly be solved until we first address the issue of the "smallness of our politics".

Obama is the only candidate to offer true ethics reform at the presidential level. Obama is the only candidate to propose a real agenda to reconcile the differences between religion and the democratic party. Obama is the only candidate with the judgment to oppose the war from day one. Therefore, I am confident that as Obama continues emphasizing these differences through his speeches and debates that this sense of inevitability will be as premature as Adlai Stevenson's expected win over John F. Kennedy was . . . just plain wrong.

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