PDHblog This is a place for members of Progressive Democrats of Hawai‘i to express their thoughts, hopes and exasperations about political happenings.

April 8, 2008

in finding the democratic candidate….

Filed under: 08 Presidential Hopefuls,Barack Obama,Hillary Clinton — frosty @ 2:40 pm

let me start by first saying that i don’t currently support, nor subscribe to, either of the remaining democratic presidential campaigns.  the candidate i supported was forced to drop out prior to super tuesday and since then i’ve been a man without a candidate.  however, given the groundswell of support from progressives countrywide, i do tend to lean ever so slightly toward senator obama.

given that, i still have problems with both candidates and their apparent attitude of ‘do what it takes to win’ whether it might actually be right or fair.  there is no doubt that campaign politics are not for the faint of heart.

i read this morning an opinion article from salon titled, why hillary clinton should be winning.  if you’ve never visited salon before, let me tell you my impression is they are a open-minded, fair, and progressive news source.

the author raises a question which, having not asked it myself, i thought was interesting.  why don’t the democratic primaries function under the principle of ‘winner take all’ as do the general elections?  the author lays out his case that, if the democratic primaries functioned more like the general election, it would be hillary, not obama, that would be winning.  and not just winning; she’d have a commanding lead and would likely and easily clinch the nomination months prior to the national convention in august. (more…)

February 20, 2008

Delegate Counts

OK… counts are in, so people are connecting the dots and speculating as to what the official delegate counts may be. We know that Hawai‘i awards delegates proportionally rather than winner take all… should be simple to figure out, right?

Statewide tallies were roughly 75% Obama to 25% Clinton. We have 20 delegates that are allocated proportionally… split that 3/4 to 1/4 and you get 15 Obama delegates and 5 Clinton delegates… right? Wrong. As you may have seen in the media accounts (Hon Adv, Star Bull), based on the preliminary vote counts that have yet to be verified, the projected delegate count sits at 14 Obama and 6 Clinton.

It is a tad more complicated to figure out than one may think on the surface of things. Read more if you want to know more about the geeky aspects of delegate allocation… (more…)

Hawaii Caucus Retrospective

As a precinct president, I helped staff my Democratic Caucus in Honolulu (District 25), and it was a phenomenal night! I brought a friend with a disability and arrived early, about 5:30 (voting was to begin at 7 PM). At that time, almost everyone there was a volunteer worker, but soon people coming to vote were arriving early. People had gotten word of a possible huge turnout. We had a huge line of new voters, and another huge line of people registering as Democrats for the first time— so many that we ran out of Democratic Party registration forms! If we had designed the influx better, we might have had a third line for registered voters who are already members of the Democratic party, but weren’t sure which precinct they were in (we could have processed everyone faster.) Some came expecting to vote early, registered, and then had to leave before voting even began.

Everyone had to go to their precinct table to await the official time for the caucus vote, 7:00 – 7:30 PM. Our tables were filled to overflowing. Some precincts quickly ran out of Precinct Sign-in forms, and I barely had enough. The procedure was that when the District Chair gave the go-ahead, everyone had to get a ballot from a precinct officer and vote. Unfortunately, we had no microphone or loudspeakers in the room full of hundreds of people! The poor district chair had to try to shout over the din to let us know when it was time to vote. Once balloting started at 7:00, there was mayhem for a while. There were FOUR names on the ballot: Clinton and Obama, of course, but also Kucinich and Edwards, even though they had dropped out, and “Uncommitted.”
(more…)

we did our best!!

A few more thoughts to put down about last night’s Democratic caucuses that didn’t make it into my last post. Perhaps best that they are split anyway… the last one was full of elation, this post will have some of my gripes and annoyances.

I went to bed last night thinking that considering the chaos, there seemed to be relatively few complaints. Most people seemed to understand that we were doing our best. I have been perusing other blogs that posted reports from different locations last night and just got around to checking Jerry Burris’ reports at HA. Many comments coming in are from people complaining about their site’s lack of preparedness. Let me respond to one that was directed at my district. I think these complaints are probably representative of how many others felt across the State. I can only speak for myself, but I imagine my response is likely similar to that other organizers across the State would make as well. (more…)

WOW

I hardly know where to begin. The turnout last night was insane. Unheard of. Probably will never happen again. Amazing. Plenty more adjectives come to mind.

Maybe it is because I am exhausted (didn’t get to bed till 3am after helping tally the votes at HQ) and still in shock that I survived the onslaught of turnout in my district… But I am actually quite emotional when reading the results today. It is not often that I feel moved to tears of joy when reading about politics. Like I said, probably best attributed to lack of sleep.

That said, I am very happy about how things turned out last night. In District 20, where I am the chair, we had over 1000 people turn out to vote. Four years ago, even with a large influx of Kucinich voters (including myself), there were 128 ballots cast in the District 20 caucuses. Last night, 1028 ballots were cast. Statewide, over 37,000 votes were cast. That has never happened before, and I think it is safe to say it will never happen again. The factors that combined to create the huge turnout last night are unlikely to come together in the future. A candidate with a history in Hawai‘i. A national race so close that Hawai‘i “matters.”

A few thoughts on what all this may mean… (more…)

February 1, 2008

McCain v. Clinton ??

Filed under: 08 Presidential Hopefuls,Barack Obama,Hillary Clinton — prog @ 5:15 pm

From Ostroy Report via Karin…The more likely scenario on Super Duper Tuesday unless Latinos shift to Obama

Is this worthy of a new thread?

Maybe not inevitable with this LA Times endorsement?

Why It’ll Be McCain v. Clinton Come Tuesday Night On Tuesday, voters in 22 states will go to the polls in what has become Super-Duper Tuesday…an historic day of key Democratic and Republican primaries and caucuses. By the time the polls close, I suspect the candidates left standing will be Arizona Sen. John McCain and NY Sen. Hillary Clinton. (more…)

January 30, 2008

Bipartisanship?

Glenn Greenwald wrote an important blog today on the subject of bipartisanship, which seems so earnestly desired by many. Here is what he found:

“bipartisanship” is already rampant in Washington, not rare. And, in almost every significant case, what “bipartisanship” means in Washington is that enough Democrats join with all of the Republicans to endorse and enact into law Republican policies, with which most Democratic voters disagree. That’s how so-called “bipartisanship” manifests in almost every case.

So no matter what Obama and Clinton say, “bipartisanship” does not look appealing from a progressive point of view. (more…)

Kucinich Out, Edwards Out: What Next?

The withdrawal of Dennis Kucinich, followed by today’s announcement of Edwards’ “suspension” of his campaign, forces progressives to assess our diminishing options in the Democratic presidential race. We have choices to make as individuals, and PDH has a choice to make as an organization. And the imperatives may not be the same.

So let me talk about the options facing PDH. Given my sense of opinion within our group, I can see 3 possible options: (more…)

January 27, 2008

Identity Politics

Barack Obama’s overwhelming victory in South Carolina today was, of course, important. What does it mean?

I don’t often agree with Pat Buchanan, but he’s been making an interesting point lately that a lot of the Mainstream Media (MSM) are suppressing, even on the air to Buchanan’s face. (I saw him attempt to explain his thesis on air recently and the other panelists didn’t even give him a chance to explain– they just shouted him down, focusing exclusively on the magnitude of Obama’s win in South Carolina, and ignoring the consequences for subsequent primaries.)  Buchanan’s thesis, IIRC, is that the Clintons knew they weren’t going to win in South Carolina, so they laid a trap for him there. Let him win in SC, with a lopsided Black vote, and paint him as The Black Candidate. Hillary, of course, has been painted as The Women’s Candidate. There are more women than Blacks. Therefore, if they can convince America that this an Identity Politics campaign, Hillary wins.

But Obama, of course, has been trying to run a post-identity politics campaign. Apart from his memorable MLK-day speech at Ebenezer Baptist church, he has not been running as a Black American, as Jesse Jackson (the last Black candidate who ran for president and actually won several primaries.) The Clintons are trying to pull him off-message.

I think the Clintons are trying to sell the media on the Identity Politics meme. If they can get the media talking about Obama as the Black Candidate, and Hillary as the Woman’s candidate, and Edwards as the White Male candidate, I think they figure that they can win. In so doing, of course, they’ll also paint Edwards into a corner.

Obama needs to stay on message as a post-Identity Politics candidate. But can he do it, against the framing of the Clintons and the MSM?

Bob

January 10, 2008

Who is the most progressive presidential candidate?

OK, here’s this to ponder, from Progressive Punch, listed in descending order by their Progressive Score:

Senator Clinton    91.29    16/100
Senator Obama      88.76    24/100
Rep. Kucinich      87.42   121/432
Senator Dodd       86.57    28/100
Senator Biden      84.26    31/100

Ha! You didn’t know that both Obama and Clinton were more progressive than Kooch? Of course, the mix of House data is different from Senate issues, but I think these ratings will surprise many.

The big problem with Clinton’s score, for me, is in the categories of

War & Peace (17 subcategories)                                    80.30      39/100(T), and
Human Rights & Civil Liberties (9 subcategories)      82.22      30/ 99(T)

Those two scores really bug me, and are not at all in progressive territory.

Bob

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