Now that we're in the twilight of the Presidential Primaries, we can draw conclusions and make Monday morning quarterback calls for why we are where we are. Obviously, the Democratic nomination has been the more interesting (and destructive) of the two parties. While pundits have been able to draw reasons why Barack Obama will likely be the nominee based on race, income and age, there is one reason that cuts through all of this, and is probably the most corrupt practice of all....... the Caucus.
We've talked about this before, but we'll review. While most states hand out delegates based on the popular vote, some states use the Caucus system. That is, voters gather at various locations to discuss the candidates, and to talk others into, or out of, voting for a candidate. The votes are not private - they are done in full public, subject to all the pressure and cajoling of those in support of other candidates.
Just like the Superdelegate system, the Caucus is in place for one reason - to take the power away from the everyday voters - who don't know what they're doing - and put it in the hands of a select individuals on the inside. Even though they are open to all voters, the caucus can be overrun by a few motivated supporters for a particular candidate. This happened in 1994, when Howard Stern hijacked the Libertarian convention in New York and became their nominee for Governor. Does there seem to be a candidate with the same fervor in 2008? Need I ask?
There's no doubt that Obama would not be in the position he is in if not for the caucuses. The Obama camp took advantage by rallying together a slew of college kids, who don't have day jobs generally, got them to these caucuses, and cleaned up. After Super Tuesday, when Obama really started to take off, many of those primaries were caucuses as well, and that's when the Superdelegates began to trail off to Obama. The last two months have been prologue ...
But to hell with opinions, check the numbers. If you take out the superdelegates and caucus numbers, and just go with the primaries, Clinton is dead even with Obama. Not including Florida and Michigan. The Clinton team must be kicking itself for blowing the campaign due to the caucuses. If Obama hadn't have had his run of 12 wins - many of them caucuses - the bum rush of superdelegates would still be waiting, and we'd have had an even closer race. Imagine how crazy it would be if there were a dead heat, rather than a 175 delegate edge to Obama.
I have friends who support Obama, and I have friends who support Hillary. One of them is a young female. I think she looks at Hillary as a sign that women - and she - can accomplish anything that they put their minds to, and that the sky is the limit. That's true already, but there always needs to be a first. I feel a bit sorry for her when it looks like it won't happen due to a defect in the elective machinery - especially one deliberately put in place...