Showing posts with label 2008 election. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2008 election. Show all posts

Jan 25, 2013

Bottom Line: Republicans Are Against Democracy

Update II: Civil Rights icon Lewis' backed bill would automatically register most to vote

Update: Wisconsin's Scott Walker is not repulsed by the GOP notion -- proposed to be enshrined in law -- that a minority of voters ought to legally defeat a majority of voters for president. Walker says he’s open to considering the GOP electoral college vote rigging scheme

The voter obstruction programs of the Republican Party across the nation in the last election ought to have made clear Republican Party's hostility to the democratic foundation of the our republic.

The Republican Party has tried to prevent as many undesirable people from voting, as it could for years.

The Democratic Party has no such voter disenfranchisement program.

For the Democrats, a citizen's right to vote is sacred.

Now, Republicans in Virginia and other battleground states are pursuing an effort to rig the election for GOP presidential nominees by dismantling the majority-of-citizens'-votes-prevails practice in states' electoral college votes.

Republicans gerrymand the congressional districts and then allocate electoral votes based on gerrymandered maps. Statewide popular votes total would no longer matter.

So, Obama winning the popular vote in Republican-rigged states would nevertheless result in Obama gaining a substantially less electoral vote total, throwing the election to the Republicans.

This is unAmerican; and one hope for a backlash against this shameful and unAmerican effort.

Apr 29, 2009

Voting Rights Argued Today

Update: Jon Greenbaum, legal director, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights: "As Congress found just a few years ago when it underwent a searching inquiry into the continuing need for key provisions of the VRA, Section 5 continues to be a critical element in preventing discrimination in voting across the country. While Section 5 has done a tremendous job at empowering all eligible voters to participate in the democratic process, its work is not complete."
And from SCOTUSblog:

Early on in the discussion of the 'bailout' option, Justice Kennedy commented that the Court has 'some latitude' in interpreting the law, and hinted that the Court might use that discretion to find a way to make it more practical for a government unit subject to the law to conduct its elections. He also suggested, later, that if the 'bailout' provision were found to be 'an illusion,' the Court might make 'a construction of the Act' that would make it work.

A focus on Kennedy’s reaction was evident, after other Justices clearly seemed to be lining up — perhaps in equal but opposing blocs — on Congress’ power to keep Section 5 on the books for another generation.

If, in fact, it turns out that there are four votes to strike down the extension of Section 5, the question would remain whether Justice Kennedy would be willing to put himself in the position of providing a majority to invalidate a statute that even he conceded had been 'very effective.' He provided some reasons to doubt that he would — if there were an acceptable alternative . And, in the past, he had said that racial bias is a continuing problem in American society.

Suddenly, I feel less optimistic on this case than at the beginning of the day.

---The U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in a potentially landmark case challenging Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and its 2006 congressional reauthorization.

Most Republicans hope for a Court decision that would declare certain voting districts free of the mandates of Section 5 helping to fight racial discrimination.

The plaintiffs challenge the Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006) (reauthorizing Section 5) in Northwest Austin (Texas) Municipal Utility District Number One v. Gonzales (08-322)).

Many argue more broadly that since we just elected a black president, we don't need voting rights protection.

Those taking this position [Not Rep. James Sensenbrenner. See Voting Rights Act has passionate, strong advocate in Sensenbrenner (Marrero, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel).] take it without any sense of history, like the last presidential election.

GOP voter suppression

The GOP used every voter suppression trick in the book to obstruct voters, like blacks, who looked likely to cast their lot against the GOP.

And the GOP tried to cover the suppression program with outlandish cries of "(perpetrat(ion) of) one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy," as John McCain ludicrously asserted. See Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Greg Palast's Drinking the Kool-Aid: How Cries of Voter Fraud Cover Up GOP Election Theft.

In Wisconsin, we had Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen's (John McCain 2008 co-chair) voter obstruction program.

Van Hollen's obstruction suit was tossed out of court, with the judge noting (p. 13) that federal election law still recognizes the force of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, much to the chagrin of Republicans. That judge also ruled that voting was not conditional on bureaucrats' lists matching perfectly, as the Republicans argued here.

Some 50 percent of blacks in Milwaukee County would fail that GOP-desired mandate, forcing them to cast provisional ballots.

From Andrew Hacker's piece in the New York Review of Books (September 25, 2008).

A Wisconsin survey published in 2005 was more precise (in the GOP effort to prevent Democratically-voting blacks from voting). No fewer than 53 percent of black adults in Milwaukee County were not licensed to drive, compared with 15 percent of white adults in the remainder of the state. According to its author, similar disparities will be found across the nation. [1] [[1] John Pawasarat, The Driver License Status of the Voting Age Population in Wisconsin (University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Employment and Training Institute, June2005), p. 1.]
Voting Rights Act

When Congress reauthorized the Voting Rights Act in 2006, it found an array of obstacles to minority voting nationwide.

As a New York Times editorial notes today:

The election of the first African-American president last year was an undeniable sign of racial progress. But even that breakthrough cannot ensure that legislative districts will not be gerrymandered, voting rolls purged or election procedures modified at the state and local levels in ways that diminish the rights of minorities. For that, as Congress wisely recognized, we still need the Voting Rights Act.

The GOP knows it cannot win without obstructing the American people from voting. That its attempts are failing will not stop their shameful assault on Americans.

The case before the Court today may be decided on a more abstract question of congressional authority (and not on a Test of History v. Progress), or a Justice Roberts-imposed changed standard of judicial scrutiny that would weaken civil rights protection. but it looks likely that the latest foolish endeavor to weaken civil rights legislation will fail.

See SCOTUSBlog for updates.

Jun 13, 2008

Landmark Supreme Court Win for Liberty Points Way for Dem Victory in November

Update: CCR Produces Analysis of Landmark Supreme Court Decision

via mal contends
The Supreme Court decision (in Boumediene v. Bush /Al Odah v. United States) is a historic affirmation of the principle of habeas corpus (in Latin, "you shall have the body"), and a rejection of the acclaimed right of the tyrant, George W. Bush in this instance, to imprison another with no sound recourse for the accused; in these cases, the detained prisoners at the U.S. base at Guantánamo.

Habeas corpus refers simply to the right of the accused to go before an impartial judge and challenge the rationale behind the denial of his/her liberty.

"One of the oldest and most basic legal protections, habeas corpus affords the incarcerated the right to stand before a judge and confront the charges presented against him or her. The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) has been sending habeas counsel to represent the prisoners at the base since winning the first Guantánamo case, Rasul v. Bush, in 2004, and applauds today’s decision," reads CCR's press release.

That's a modest statement.

It's fitting that CCR, an organization that grew out the civil rights movement— specifically Arthur Kinoy and the Kunstler brothers (nigga-loving Jews as they were known back then, and let's never forget, in the 1960s by the southern states' white power structures) and 1,000s more heroes of liberty whose names history will not record—researched and argued this landmark victory for liberty.

It is also sobering, as a NYT editorial notes today, that "... habeas hangs by a single vote in the Supreme Court of the United States—a reminder that the composition of the court could depend on the outcome of this year’s presidential election. The ruling is a major victory for civil liberties—but a timely reminder of how fragile they are."

Sobering, yes, but also inspiring of optimism for the coming November rejection of the Bush-Cheney-McCain crowd.

Barack Obama who is for the moment underperforming with white women will undoubtedly improve his standing as the campaign crystallizes how dangerous an instrument the Supreme Court has become to the cause of liberty, specifically women's liberty.

Lose any one of the five-member majority, and replace him/her with a Scalia/Roberts/Alito/Thomas clone, as John McCain has promised to do were he elected, and the right of a woman to choose will vanish. MAKE NO MISTAKE.

The decades-old victory by the feminist movement (to which Hillary Clinton and many of her supporters can proudly lay claim) for women to have the simple power over their own bodies means nothing to the hateful ideology that is prepared to eradicate the centuries-old habeas corpus rights.

Thus, look for Hillary's supporters to move decisively to Obama's camp as the repercussions of a John McCain win become clear and unity beats back the forces of hate and tyranny. Obama should be thinking about Hillary as a Supreme Court appointment for when he wins this fall.

Jun 3, 2008

Obama Wins Democratic Nomination Tonight

Tonight, we make history.

[Pictured at right, Obama at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin, Feb. 12. (JAKE NAUGHTON/Badger Herald photo)]

Montana Primary: 24 delegates
South Dakota Primary: 23 delegates

From Americablog, by Joe Sudbay:

5:42 PM Maxine Water, 2 FL SuperD and 3 Delaware SuperDs.
5:22 p.m. Two more supers via the Obama campaign, Ben Johnson from DC and Kamil Hasan from CA, lowers the number needed to 16.5.
Major update from the Obama campaign, the number of delegates needed is down to 18.5:

The Obama Campaign today announced that the following delegates pledged to former Senator John Edwards have committed to vote for Senator Obama at the Democratic National Convention. With today's announcement, every delegate pledged to Senator Edwards in Iowa (four delegates), New Hampshire (four delegates) and South Carolina (eight delegates) will be voting for Senator Obama at the National Convention. In addition, 10 of the 13 Edwards delegates from Florida will be voting for Senator Obama at the National Convention.

The updated roster adds ten delegates today to Obama's delegate total, raising it to 2,099.5 and leaving the campaign only 18.5 delegates away from clinching the nomination at 2,118.

Obama will reach the number of delegates needed to secure the nomination tonight. We are on the verge of having a nominee. The Democratic Party is making history today.

Hillary Is Gone, Now

Update: BREAKING AP: Hillary won't concede tonight

With Obama likely to claim victory in some manner tonight, Hillary Clinton will have a lot of time to ponder what she has accomplished with her campaign.

The answer is: Not very much of a constructive nature.

Beginning with an unprecedented amount of money and political infrastructure, Hillary managed to threaten the historic Democratic coalition with the black-African American-civil rights community, and stoke the vestiges of racism that remain rooted in the American political culture.

Her incompetently run campaign does serve as an illustration of what not to do for future Democratic candidates.

Good riddance to Hillary; and well, let's look to the future.

May 10, 2008

Meeting Racism Head-on

Update: And speaking of Islam, Was Muhammed REALLY a man of peace? Human Events is on this faster than you can say 'Islamofascism'

Second-hand, I heard an anecdote last week about some typical rural, white Georgia residents.

As reported to me, said one resident: "A lot of people like Obama. I love Obama, but it’s too bad he’s a Muslim, he’ll never get elected. "

McClatchy had a piece Thursday on the same sentiment: Where did the Web rumors about Obama come from?

Writes Matt Stearns:

Some things about Barack Obama rub some voters the wrong way.

"We don't need a Muslim," said Jannay Smith, a retiree from Kokomo,
Ind. "Who's to say if he gets in there what he'll do?"

Added Steve Shallenberger, a Kokomo electrician: "He's just calling himself a Christian because he knows that's what we in Indiana want to hear."

Then there's Sherry Richey, also from Kokomo: "He wouldn't put his hand on the Bible; he wanted the Quran. He won't put his hand over his heart during the anthem or say the Pledge of Allegiance. He's too un-American."

All of these slurs on Obama are categorically untrue.

But, Stearns notes, this has not prevented the slurs from being pushed on the Internet, nor has it prevented campaigns from appealing to the racism and ignorance that still exists, worrying some astute analysts.

Writes Stearns:

E-mails falsely claiming that Obama is a Muslim, that he took the oath of office on a Quran and that he refuses to take the Pledge of Allegiance have stormed inboxes. A newer e-mail has a picture, allegedly of Obama posing with his African family, with the title 'Say Hi to the next potential first family.'

I received an e-mail like this myself last year, from a decent American, and the e-mail is despicable (published below).

The fact is racism exists, but this time we are not going to run from it, and John McCain will do his worst. The following e-mail is repulsive, then again so is John McCain's appeal to fear and ignorance.

Date: Thu, 27 Dec 2007 08:20:53 -0800 (PST)

Subject: Why Obama wants to be President of the US...

Very interesting and something that should be considered in your choice. If you do not ever forward anything else, please forward this to all your contacts...this is very scarey to think of what lies ahead of us here in our own United States .... better heed this and pray about it and share it.

We checked this out on "". It is factual. Check for yourself. Who is Barack Obama? Probable U. S. presidential candidate, Barack Hussein Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., a black MUSLIM from Nyangoma-Kogel , Kenya and Ann Dunham, a white ATHIEST from Wichita , Kansas ..

Obama's parents met at the University of Hawaii . When Obama was two years old, his parents divorced. His father returned to Kenya . His mother then married Lolo Soetoro, a RADICAL Muslim from Indonesia.?

When Obama was! 6 years old, the family relocated to Indonesia . Obama attended a MUSLIM school in Jakarta He also spent two years in a Catholic school. Obama takes great care to conceal the fact that he is a Muslim. He is quick to point out that, "He was once a Muslim, but that he also attended Catholic school."

Obama's political handlers are attempting to make it appear that?

Obama's introduction to Islam came via his father, and that this influence was temporary at best. In reality, the senior Obama returned to Kenya soon after the divorce, and never again had any direct influence over his son's education. Lolo Soetoro, the second husband of Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, introduced his stepson to Islam. Obama was enrolled in a Wahabi school in Jakarta Wahabism is the RADICAL teaching that is followed by the Muslim terrorists who are now waging Jihad against the western world.

Since it is politically expedient to be a CHRISTIAN when seeking major public office in the United States , Barack Hussein Obama has joined the United Church of Christ in an attempt to downplay his Muslim background.

ALSO, keep in mind that when he was sworn into office he DID NOT use the Holy Bible , but instead the Koran. Let us all remain alert concerning Obama's expected presidential candidacy.

The Muslims have said they plan on destroying the US from the inside out, what better way to start than at the highest level - through the President of the United States , one of their own!!!! Please forward to everyone you know. Would you want this man leading our country?...... NOT ME!!!

May 5, 2008

Hillary Cannot Win Democratic Nomination

Just some good news to start the week, that in a sense, is not news: Hillary Clinton cannot win the Democratic nomination.

See Timothy Noah at: Hillary Clinton, Fairy Princess. Stop pretending she has a plausible chance to win the nomination? Obama will win the nomination.

So all those friends and progressives who have refrained from tossing 10-point weights into their TV sets and plasma screens have no reason to fear.

Have a good week, (it's going to hit 70 in Wisconsin), and let's celebrate her demise and Obama's coming nomination.

As noted at the top of Daily Kos, of the remaining 682 delegates left, Obama needs just 286 delegates to win the nomination. That's some 42 percent.

By the way, isn't the Rev. John Hagee whose endorsement John McCain sought and obtained a whack?

May 4, 2008

Rev. John Hagee Is a Bigoted Whack Whose Endorsement McCain Sought and Received

How can a complete whack like the Rev. John Hagee whose endorsement of and political relationship with John McCain are a matter of public record not dominate the airwaves?

The apocalyptic-minded and anti-Catholic Rev. John Hagee was pursued by John McCain, and Hagee ultimately endorsed McCain in late February when they appeared together in San Antonio. (picture at right)

Hagee is a bigoted nut, but also a major Republican political player whose specific foreign policy prescriptions are seen by him as preparing the way for the Second Coming, and are identical to the controversial policy positions taken by McCain on Iran and Iraq, now.

Turns out that Hagee, of the let’s-bomb-Iran corner of the rightwing, is also a prominent signer of the Forgotten American Coalition's statement proclaiming that we need to stay in Iraq and that the “… Iraq War must be seen in the broader context of Islamo-fascism's war on America and Western Civilization. It is one front in a global conflict fought from Europe and the Middle East to Africa, the Balkans, the Indian Subcontinent and, finally, to the streets of our cities. ...”

If those words sound familiar, it’s because McCain had been repeating them in substance in his stump speech for months.

What has not been repeated for months is Hagee's venom coming from the Founder and National Chairman of the religious right's Christians United for Israel.

As Frank Rich writes this morning of Hagee:

Wielding a pointer, he pokes at the image of a woman with Pamela Anderson-sized breasts, her hand raising a golden chalice. The woman is 'the Great Whore,' Mr. Hagee explains, and she is drinking 'the blood of the Jewish people.' That’s because the Great Whore represents 'the Roman Church,' which, in his view, has thirsted for Jewish blood throughout history, from the Crusades to the Holocaust.

Have a look at this video and you'll get the picture.

Apr 30, 2008

Obama in Madison

Turn off cable TV idiots and see change happening from the bottom-up.

From Feb. 12, 2008 in Madison, Wisconsin delivering a (VA, DC, MD) victory speech to 20,000-plus with an overflow crowd at the Kohl Center. It was louder in person.

Pressure Building on Lone Wisc Clinton-declared Superdelegate Officeholder

Update: John Nichols: A Baldwin shift to Obama could send crucial message

So, why is Wisconsin's most progressive elected official and superdelegate still declared, alone among elected state officeholders, for Hillary Clinton?

Good question for Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Madison).

What does it take from Clinton for Baldwin to jump ship?

Hillary playing on homophobia like Hillary does in North Carolina? [See Andrew Sullivan - She's on O'Reilly and her surrogate is accusing her opponent of being a 'pansy'. Classy - but vintage Clinton. Never miss an opportunity to exploit homophobia. Remember DOMA? Remember doubling the discharges from the military? Remember inaction on AIDS? Remember the Clintons' using anti-gay marriage ads in the South in 1996? And yet the gays keep coming back for more. I don't understand why. I really don't. See also DavidKC at DailyKos.]

Hillary playing on fear and race like she has done for months now?

I wish Tammy would cut the shit.

What do you owe Clinton? Better yet, what do you owe your constituents?

Don't get Washingtonized on us.

Idiot Wind

‘Couldn't help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land where justice is a game.’
- Hurricane, Bob, 1975

The statement by Sen. Obama’s wife, Michelle, that “for the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country,” has been invoked by Republicans in an effort to portray Mr. Obama as culturally unlike the people he is asking to vote for him—a historically potent line of attack.

This will continue, no matter if the Rev. Wright controversy dissipates.

“What pathetic, little, delicate flowers Americans and political pundits are," wrote the Liberal Street Fighter.


Obama, an American success story if there ever were one, gets skewered for being associated in any way with anyone who ever said anything critical of American society.

But Obama need not apologize for anyone, or be on the defensive.

Obama needs to get on the offensive and challenge every moronic pundit that unity, rights, equality, liberty and freedom from economic want comprise the foundation upon which American society has progressed the last 75 years.

And fighting for this foundation ought be the basis of his campaign for the presidency.

A major address laying out a vision is called for as the corporate media remains obsessed with trivia, but not in front of a staid audience, but rather a loud, lively crowd of 1,000s of Americans to whom Obama presents his ideas for approval.

Apr 29, 2008

Rev Wright Isn’t Running for President

via mal contends - The Rev. Wright has offended a lot of people lately—including liberal commentators.

Rev. Wright, who made a series of interviews/addresses the past week, has “devolved into self-pity and self-glorification (Walsh),” has been “inflating his importance in a pride-goeth-before-the-fall kind of way, (Robinson), is ”living a narcissist’s dream” (Herbert),” and so on.

It’s worth noting then that whatever one believes of the ex-Marine’s oratory, Rev. Wright is not running for president and absolutely nothing has been presented to suggest that Obama is/has been/will be carrying on Wright’s views in any policy.

That’s likely because Wright has not made any policy pronouncements.

He just likes to spout off at what makes him angry; maybe some talking heads like to do the same thing at times, maybe we do too. But Marines and black preachers can be a bit heavy-handed, unlike the judicious and thoughtful folks on cable TV.

John McCain and the corporate media love smearing Obama when a smear looks doable; and doubt persists about whether a black man like Obama can ever really love our country like a white man/woman can.

No doubt that McCain has never uttered an intemperate remark or said anything objectionable during his tenure in elected office, and McCain will be held to the same standard and scrutiny as Obama’s retired pastor by the muckraking American corporate media.

The American media do not exactly have a first-rate record when it comes to discussing matters of substance in presidential elections. This sad history ought to be the focus of liberal commentators.

But for now, even Salon is asking: What should Obama do about Rev. Jeremiah Wright? And not: What should Obama do about the inane corporate media and our vapid political culture.

Now is the time for Obama to make a major address on real needs of real people v. corporate media obsession on the inane. Regain control and make the foolish react to message of change and substance.

Apr 25, 2008

Alan I. Abramowitz: Cheer Up, Democrats! Party in Great November Shape

Updated: Party Fears Racial Divide, Hillary Attacks Could Do Lasting Harm, Democrats Say

One of the reasons Hillary is insistent on winning the Democratic nomination to the point of weakening the Party in November is the view among observers, and shared by Hillary no doubt, that the Republican Party looks headed for major electoral defeat along the lines of 2006 no matter what Hillary does.

Still others point to the lasting damage to the modern-day Democratic coalition. "If this party is perceived by people as having gone into a back room somewhere and brokered a nominee, that would not be good for our party," House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (S.C.), the highest ranking African American in Congress, warned yesterday. "I'm telling you, if this continues on its current course, [the damage] is going to be irreparable." (Post, April 26)

Alan I. Abramowitz has a cheerful read in The New Republic: Cheer Up, Democrats! Even if the primary stretches on, a long-term tectonic shift in the electorate means the party is in great shape for November.

Irrespective of the damage done by Hillary, playing on race and fear is a political wrong in itself. Some things you just don't do.

Apr 24, 2008

Wisconsin More Important than Pennsylvania Machine-State

Updated - An afterthought on Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania is a quasi-Democratic machine state. Thus one expected the machine-backed candidate, Hillary Clinton, to do well with the most established demographics there: Whites and older citizens.

No doubt then that Hillary's expected win on Tuesday (nine points) and her turning-the-tide spin generated a round of media ridicule and explicit reference to the Pennsylvania machine-state status, minimizing the significance of the Clinton victory. Not what happened.

As Chuck Todd: (Hardball, April 7) had put it, "...Pennsylvania is a machine state. You know it‘s a machine democratic state. It is an old school machine state and she has the entire machine behind her, other than the Casey family. She‘s got the state party officially behind her."

The media's reaction, including Chris Matthews and Norah O‘Donnell, who know better, is to exclaim that Hillary did well with whites and older citizens, from which is extrapolated "huge" significance and alarm about how well Obama can perform with whites in a general election.

So why is Pennsylvania, which votes reliably Democratic in general elections in part owing to the effectiveness of the Democratic machine, more significant than Wisconsin (Feb. 19), which votes narrowly Democratic in general elections? It's not.

In Wisconsin, Obama brought out 10,000s of politically casual voters who didn't even show up at the polls six weeks later in a historic, high-profile Supreme Court race; and Obama clobbered Hillary in February, prevailing "by a wide margin among men, 67-31 percent. (His win among white men, 63-34 percent, was surpassed only in Utah)." (ABC News)

See also For Obama, a Struggle to Win Over Key Blocs (NYT, April 26) in which Adam Nagourney asks ,"Why has (Obama) been unable to win over enough working-class and white voters to wrap up the Democratic nomination?"

Like Obama did in Wisconsin and the other 29 states in which he won, Nagourney could have added, though that would have had the effect of killing his story.

Hillary is desperate to pretend the race is still on; and the corporate talking heads and political media are desperate to engage Hillary's pretension.

One last note on the exit polling from Pennsylvania, pertaining to Hillary and blacks.
Blacks: 92-Obama - 8-Hillary.

Questions worth pursuing: Why is Hillary doing so horribly among blacks? And using the same primary-general election demographic logic applied to Obama, what does this mean for a prospective Hillary nomination and her performance in the general election? Can Hillary win without black support?

The Race to Date

- 2025 delegates needed to nominate
- Super delegates who have not endorsed: 305

Apr 23, 2008

Wisconsin's Obama Delegate Win Equals Clinton's Penn Win

Wisconsin Obama Delegate Win - 10

Pennsylvania Clinton Delegate Win - 10

The question is not if but when Obama wins the nomination.

Faced with Obama's inevitability, and apparently intent on stretching the primary out as long as possible, what will Hillary do?

Obama Campaign E-mail on The Facts

... Last night, Senator Clinton used up her last, best chance to cut appreciably into Barack Obama's elected delegate lead.

She came up short.

In fact, she barely made a dent. At most, she picked up a net gain of 12 delegates -- less than our gain, for example, in Colorado (where we gained 17) or Kansas (where we gained 14). Her gain in Pennsylvania was less than half of our gain in Virginia, where we added to our lead by 25 delegates.

But there is one measure by which her campaign's gains are real. ...

Here's how it breaks out:

After Pennsylvania, we have a lead of at least 159 elected delegates earned through all of the primaries and caucuses so far. We have a total of at least 1493 pledged delegates.

Meanwhile, we've been rapidly gaining ground among the so-called superdelegates (elected leaders and party officials who get a vote to choose our nominee), cutting Senator Clinton's lead from more than 100 early this year to less than 25.

We have a total of 238 publicly committed superdelegates.

The total number of delegates needed to secure the nomination is 2,024. That means we are only 293 delegates away from securing the nomination.

In less than two weeks, we'll square off in the key battleground states of North Carolina and Indiana, when there will be as many delegates at stake as there were last night in Pennsylvania.

To grow our significant lead and close out this race, we must remain competitive in these contests and the 7 others that will follow. ...

Pennsylvania was considered a state tailor-made for Senator Clinton -- she was always expected to win, and we trailed by as much as 25 points in the weeks leading up to the election.

But thanks to people like you, Barack gained support among key voters in the face of long odds and unrelenting negativity from Senator Clinton, and kept the margin close enough that her delegate gain was insignificant.

Indeed, the only surprising result from Pennsylvania is how much Barack was able to improve his standing among key voter groups since the Ohio primary.
Among white voters, Obama narrowed the gap by 6 points. Among voters over 60, he nearly cut the gap in half, from 41 points to 24 points. Meanwhile, we continued to run strong where we have all along -- for example, winning voters ages 18-24 with over 65% of the vote.

Barack campaigned hard in Pennsylvania. He talked about his plans to stand up to the special interests and bring people together so that we can change Washington to turn our economy around, make sure that every American has quality health care, and bring this misguided war to an end. ...

Third Party Run for Hillary?

via MAL Contends

Most rational, honest observers (those are not whom we see on cable TV) know that absent a historic meltdown by Obama, Hillary Clinton has virtually no chance of winning the Democratic nomination.

Her nine-digit win in the quasi-machine state of Pennsylvania excites only those with a vested interest in seeing her continue in the race.

Here's an updated reposting of one rationale explaining why Hillary stays in, consistent with known facts: A third-party/independent run.

In Hillary Clinton's willingness to blow up a historic Democratic constituency (the African-American vote, now voting against her nine-to-one), her embrace of John McCain's national security credentials over Barack Obama's, and her utilization of rightwing media organs to smear Obama, right as her money is drying up, one sees at least the outlines of a rationale for the messianic Hillary to morph into Joe Lieberman and stage an independent run for the presidency.

Said James Carville in April: "Well, you know the convention is not the end game, folks. Now, don’t get me wrong I think Hillary Clinton will get the nomination in the end. But, if the Washintonian elites decide to throw her under the bus, who could blame her if she took this all the way to November."

Bill has been building up McCain for months, saying McCain is a “moderate”

Certainly Hillary possesses the sense of entitlement and burn-down-the-house drive to wage such a battle.

And the Clinton's loyalty to the Democratic Party has never been that strong. Hillary is a Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) Democrat.

Her continued presence in the race and her general-election attacks speaks clearly that she really does not care what damage she inflicts on the Democratic nominee.

Maybe Hillary does care, and wishes to subtly inflict as much damage as possible, weakening Obama for her historic third-party run facing a weakened Obama and a historically weak GOP.

Such a run would be the realization of the ultimate triangulation.

What's to stop her? Hillary's lack of ambition, Hillary's loyalty to the Democratic Party?

We'll see.

Obama's Response

Votes are still being counted in Pennsylvania, but one thing is already clear.
In a state where we trailed by more than 25 points just a couple weeks ago, you helped close the gap to a slimmer margin than most thought possible.
Thanks to your support, with just 9 contests remaining, we've won more delegates, more votes, and twice as many contests.

We hold a commanding position, but there are two crucial contests coming up -- voters will head to the polls in North Carolina and Indiana in exactly two weeks. And we're already building our organization in the other remaining states.

But it's clear the attacks are going to continue, and we're going to continue fighting a two-front battle against John McCain and Hillary Clinton.