Everyone is talking about it. Senator Clinton is however more popular with Super Delegates--the cadre of Democratic Party Officials, locally elected politicians and a few congress people. Some of these individual are enamored with the Clintons. Others are indebted to the Clintons for past favors or are counting on them to deliver future ones. Then there are those who genuinely believe Senator Hillary Clinton will be a better president. The reality is that the Super Delegate holds the "all mighty power" to decide whether it is Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama who gets the Democratic Party nomination, despite what the people and their popular vote may say. And therein lies the problem.
According to the most recent CNN count, Hillary Clinton has the support of 223 superdelegates, and Barack Obama has the support of 131. Some of those favoring Clinton are believed to be enamored by the Clinton name while others owe the Clintons favors and are indebted to them. Then there are those that simply believe Hillary would be the best candidate. The problem that is being discussed by every media outlet, in political circles and college classrooms everywhere is what will happen if Senator Clinton is handed the party nomination for president by the votes of the Superdelegates and this is counter to the vote of the people?
For news agencies, they see this as a political Armageddon for the Democratic party and predict it will tear the organization apart. This of course would at least feed months of interesting coverage. But it won't solve the bigger problem. It is possible that at the end of the Primary season, it may require the Superdelegates to decide the party nominee because neither would have the required (not majority) number of pledged delegates to be the clear winner.
Many Americans still believe and are counting on their vote to count. After all we are the government with an allegiance to the mantra "We the people." We are the nation that advises and supervises other countries in running a fair, democratic election.
Admittedly our own trust in that fact was disrupted in 2000 during the election between Al Gore and George Bush, and again in 2004 between Bush and Kerry. At that time Democrats could blame the Republicans for "corrupting" the political system, ignoring the will of the people and stealing an election. I remember the congressional episode when many members of Congress paraded across the Senate floor opposing the election and the legitimacy of the Bush Presdiency. Congresswoman Maxine Waters was the most dynamic of those in expressing the injustice to voters.
Fast forward 4 years. Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton is singing a tune similar to that sang by George Bush in 2004 and her back-up singers include Congresswoman Maxine Waters. In 2004 Waters was concerned about the disenfranchised voters and the injustice and unfair election results. She complained that the voice "of the people" was not being heard.
But today that does not seem to be important to them. As a matter of fact, Senator Clinton defends this by saying, "Superdelegates are by design supposed to exercise independent judgment. That is the way the system works,” she told reporters after a town hall in Orono, Maine last week. “If Sen. Obama and his campaign continue to push this position which is really contrary to what the definition of a super delegate has historically been then I look forward to receiving the support of Sen. Kennedy and Sen. Kerry.”
Her convenient new stance is exactly what Barack Obama means when he says we cannot keep the same Washington folks around and expect a different result. Despite party affiliation, the old guard all seem to operate and think the same. For them (the old guard of politicians), fair is what favors their side, their desires, their agenda. They are not talking about fair as it relates to the will of the people.
While it is neither practical nor prudent to change the entire roster of elected officials, nor is it necessary. Barack Obama represents a huge change in direction for our country. He is a paradigm shift in the flesh. He is more than a man with an awesome plan to get our nation back on track. His candidacy is frightening for many in both parties because he represents a movement, a revolution.
The success of Obama's bid for the presidency will send a resounding message through state houses and governor mansions, down congressional halls, into house and senate chambers and into the consciousness of every politician. It will hit elected officials, lobbyist and political consultant like a punch to their gut. It says to them that "We the people" are taking our power back. It says to them, we now remember that we do indeed have the power to change the world, hope and dream big, and bring those big ideas into fruition. It says to them that you have abused the public trust long enough and you are now on a short leash.
Former US Senator Tom Daschle has been contacting Superdelegates to appeal to them to be fair and exercise the will of the people. But again, what happens if the Superdelegates vote against the will of the people and nominate Senator Hillary Clinton to represent the Democratic Party for President?
Perhaps this would be the doomsday of the Democratic Party news agencies predict. It is certain to generate months of news stories and commentary and material for comedians and a cause for protestors. But for the well-being of the nation more needs to happen and it needs to happen immediately.
I believe that in this case, the Obama camp must promptly and without missing a beat launch a campaign for the presidency as a write-in candidate. Here is the man whom has resurrected hope in our spirits and reminded us what our Forefathers championed decades ago. That is, "we the people" can form a more perfect union, take matters into our own hands and do what others say cannot be done. It was our Founding Fathers that gained our nation's independence, succeeded against a seasoned British army, and created what is now a world Super Power. They had hope and big dreams. This is the same spirit, the same mindset that guides Senator Barack Obama and his Presidential Campaign today. So is it possible for Barack Obama--who is running a peoples candidacy---to do what no one has ever accomplished? That is, can he win the United States Presidency as a write-in candidate and beat the Clinton machine and John McCain?
Let's yell, "YES WE CAN!!!"