We have a presumptive nominee for the Democratic nomination for the office of President of the United States of America. His name is Barack Obama.
Most of us recognized him as the winner of the Democratic primary contest well over a month ago. Last night he secured the number of delegates necessary to win the nomination.
Or did he? Clinton gave a speech last night but she did not recognize him as the winner and concede. Instead we heard this:
Who will be ready to take back the White House and take charge as Commander-in-Chief and lead our country to better tomorrows? People in all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the territories, all had a chance to make your voices heard and on Election Day after Election Day, you came out in record numbers to cast your ballots. Nearly eighteen million of you cast your votes for our campaign, carrying the popular vote with more votes than any primary candidate in history. Even when the pundits and the naysayers proclaimed week after week that this race was over, you kept on voting.
Followed by a lot of “I,” “I,” “I… ” and finally:
This has been a long campaign, and I will be making no decisions tonight.
Hillary is STILL claiming that that she received more votes than any other primary candidate in history. The only way she can make that claim is to count only the votes for her in Michigan and not give any of the “other” votes to Obama – a ridiculous assertion that basically says there were no Obama voters in Michigan – and to not count the caucus states’ votes, again… ridiculous.
Go here and you will see that Obama won the popular vote by any reasonable method of counting votes. More importantly he won more delegates, and that’s what matters.
So why did Hillary spin her tired old yarn in last night’s speech? I can think of only one reason: To discredit the winner.
And about that “Who will be ready?” bullshit? Not her! She won’t be participating in the general election for president.
Has anybody told her she lost? Seriously. You’ve got to wonder…
There were two other speeches last night. Here’s what John McCain said in New Orleans:
Pundits and party elders have declared that Senator Obama will be my opponent. He will be a formidable one. But I’m ready for the challenge and determined to run this race in a way that does credit to our campaign and to the proud, decent and patriotic people I ask to lead.
When Americans confront a catastrophe they have a right to expect basic competence from their government… Our disgraceful failure to do so here in New Orleans exposed the incompetence of government at all levels to meet even its most basic responsibilities.
The wrong change looks not to the future but to the past for solutions that have failed us before and will surely fail us again. I have a few years on my opponent, so I am surprised that a young man has bought in to so many failed ideas. Like others before him, he seems to think government is the answer to every problem; that government should take our resources and make our decisions for us. That type of change doesn’t trust Americans to know what is right or what is in their own best interests. It’s the attitude of politicians who are sure of themselves but have little faith in the wisdom, decency and common sense of free people. That attitude created the unresponsive bureaucracies of big government in the first place. And that’s not change we can believe in.
What? Hey John! Do you know what the government is? It’s “We the People,” and we ARE the ones that have to find solutions to our problems. We on the Left have chosen Obama as our candidate because we think he best represents OUR ideas for solving the many problems we face today. When he is elected president, he will be making decisions based on what all Americans think is in their own best interests.
Mr. McCain, you are being extremely cynical when you say your opponent has “bought in to so many failed ideas.” You mentioned the “disgraceful” failure of the Bush Administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina. The government failed because it wasn’t a government of the people headed by a president who represented the people. It was a government who’s primary mission was to return favors by appointing cronies and giving away billions to the rich people that got him “elected.”
And what about that twisted first sentence of the second paragraph above: “The wrong change looks not to the future but to the past for solutions that have failed us before and will surely fail us again.”
Are you suggesting the president should not look to the past? Are you crazy? Whoever is elected president must surely look to the past to see what types of policies worked and what types of policies failed. The successful policies of the past are good starting points fore developing new solutions for today’s problems. The policies that worked in the past should not be ignored.
Now to the main event. Obama’s victory speech. If you missed it, go watch it or read it now.
Here’s the part of it that I thought was a great response to McCain’s “government is not the answer” bullshit.
So it has been for every generation that faced down the greatest challenges and the most improbable odds to leave their children a world that’s better and kinder and more just.
And so it must be for us.
America, this is our moment. This is our time, our time to turn the page on the policies of the past, our time to bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face, our time to offer a new direction for this country that we love.
The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge — I face this challenge with profound humility and knowledge of my own limitations, but I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people.
He needs to keep making these types of speeches to remind people that he really does represent something different from the status quo, and that it’s not just him that will turn things around, it’s us, and he will lead the way.
There’s a lot of work to do between now and November. He will be hammered by the mean, nasty, hypocritical R’s. There will be rough times in the next six months, but when he comes out of them, he needs to return to what he said tonight. There will be plenty of opportunites to flesh out the details of his platform, and he’ll have to make convincing speeches and win some tough debates to show the Democrats have a better plan. But now he now has the entire Democratic party behind him (Let’s hope Clinton makes a gracious exit soon… ) so he should be able to tap the best (dare I say elite?) minds of the party, and run an unbeatable campaign.