Barack Obama's resounding and comprehensive defeat of Billary, Inc.. in North Carolina last night, coupled with his nearly 50/50 split of the vote in Indiana means one thing and one thing only: The race for the Democratic Party nomination is over and Obama will be the nominee. Any other course taken by the Democratic Party elite (i.e. the 'superdelegates') would mean absolute political suicide for the DP and the obliteration of any hopes of winning the national election in November. The fundamental fact that Obama now commands a mathematically insurmountable lead in every single category that matters: Overall delegate count (by nearly 200), popular vote totals (by over 600,000 votes), and total number of primaries won (by a 2-1 margin) means that if the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the superdelegates who have yet to cast their ballot choices even think about trying to circumvent, undermine, or sabotage the democratic process by unfairly giving the nomination to Billary at this point there would be such a justifiably massive backlash and protest among the base of the Democratic Party who have consistently voted in overwhelming numbers for Obama thus far (i.e. African Americans, independents of all nationalities, and young voters in general) that the Democratic Party would be utterly destroyed and McCain would waltz into the White House by default.
Thankfully, I doubt very seriously that even this Party elite would be anywhere near that stupid at this late date. No sane person in the DP wants to self destruct at this point (despite the ongoing asinine antics of the Clintons and their arrogant and now thoroughly defeated machine). So it's definitely Obama's ballgame from here until November. I just hope that the majority of the major supporters of Billary during this campaign season (e.g. white female voters, Latinos in general, and white male working and lower middle class voters) have the simple common sense and basic human decency to put aside whatever bitter and/or racist feelings and attitudes many of them have to not only cast their votes for Obama in the general election but also, and most importantly, simultaneously vote AGAINST racism and FOR their own political and economic self interest.
Because if this race for the Presidency means anything this year it means that challenging and defeating racism in the general electorate AND voting for a liberal reform candidate (Obama) against a reactionary conservative candidate (McCain) mean the exact same thing.
So what it all comes down to from June 1 on is that if over 50% of the voting public can mature enough to realize what the real stakes are in this election and not succumb to or passively accept the backward, ignorant, and destructive politics that have far too often ruled this country then we all have a genuine chance to do far more than merely elect Barack Obama. We have a real opportunity to begin the long and absolutely necessary process of actually changing the country in a truly progressive direction. So let's not allow cynicism, despair, smugness, or indifference to push us off course. In other words: LET'S NOT BLOW IT...
OBAMA OR NOTHING IN 2008!
May 7, 2008
Obama Wins North Carolina Decisively; Clinton Takes Indiana by Slim Margin
By JEFF ZELENY
New York Times
Senator Barack Obama won a commanding victory in the North Carolina primary on Tuesday and lost narrowly to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in Indiana, an outcome that injected a boost of momentum to Mr. Obama’s candidacy as the Democratic nominating contest entered its final month.
The results from the two primaries, the largest remaining Democratic ones, assured that Mr. Obama would widen his lead in pledged delegates over Mrs. Clinton, providing him with new ammunition as he seeks to persuade Democratic leaders to coalesce around his campaign. He also increased his lead in the popular vote in winning North Carolina by more than 200,000 votes.
“Don’t ever forget that we have a choice in this country,” Mr. Obama said in an address in Raleigh, N.C., that carried the unity themes of a convention speech. “We can choose not to be divided; that we can choose not to be afraid; that we can still choose this moment to finally come together and solve the problems we’ve talked about all those other years in all those other elections.”
In winning North Carolina by 14 percentage points, Mr. Obama — whose campaign had been embattled by controversy over the incendiary remarks of his former pastor — recorded his first primary victory in nearly two months. His campaign was preparing to open a new front in his battle with Mrs. Clinton, intensifying the argument to uncommitted Democratic superdelegates that he weathered a storm and that the time was dawning for the party to concentrate on the general election.
But as Mrs. Clinton addressed her supporters at a rally in Indianapolis on Tuesday evening, it was clear the fight was not over. In the first three minutes of her address, she asked supporters to contribute money, saying, “Tonight, I need your help to continue this journey.”
Clinton advisers acknowledged that the results of the primaries were far less than they had hoped, and said they were likely to face new pleas even from some of their own supporters for her to quit the race. They said they expected fund-raising to become even harder; one adviser said the campaign was essentially broke, and several others refused to say whether Mrs. Clinton had lent the campaign money from her personal account to keep it afloat.
The advisers said they were dispirited over the loss in North Carolina, after her campaign — now working off a shoestring budget as spending outpaces fund-raising — decided to allocate millions of dollars and full days of the candidate and her husband in the state. Even with her investment, Mr. Obama outspent Mrs. Clinton in both states.
For several hours, incomplete results from Lake County in Indiana — home to the city of Gary, just across the state line from Chicago — left the statewide tally in doubt. The delay meant that Mrs. Clinton did not appear on television until well after Mr. Obama, allowing him to put his stamp of victory on the evening.
With six primaries remaining on the Democratic calendar, the fight between Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton now turns to Washington. The Obama campaign was poised to present a new cache of superdelegates — the party officials who may have to settle the nominating fight — as early as Wednesday to press its case that the results from Tuesday are reason enough to back his candidacy and end the torturous nominating fight.
In his speech earlier in the evening, Mr. Obama, of Illinois, congratulated Mrs. Clinton “for what appears to be her victory in the great state of Indiana.” Then, he used his televised forum to deliver a speech highlighting how he was likely to come under attack. In doing so, he made an argument for his viability in a general election, which his rivals believe has been damaged because of his association with his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr..
“Yes, we know what’s coming; I’m not naïve,” Mr. Obama said, adding, “The attempts to play on our fears and exploit our differences, to turn us against each other for political gain, to slice and dice this country into red states and blue states; blue-collar and white-collar; white, black, brown; young, old; rich, poor.”
“This is the race we expect” regardless of who is the Democratic nominee, he went on. “The question, then, is not what kind of campaign they will run; it’s what kind of campaign we will run.”
Democrats said they expect to see more superdelegates flow to Mr. Obama in the next few days, including perhaps some now aligned with Mrs. Clinton.
Senator Claire McCaskill, an Obama supporter from Missouri, called the results “a big, big night” for Mr. Obama given the Wright episode. “This shows he can take major blows and kind of rise above it,” Ms. McCaskill said. “I think there was a sense that she has some momentum, and I think it has just ground to a screeching halt tonight.”
Despite Mrs. Clinton’s performance, she pledged to take her campaign to West Virginia, Kentucky and the other states remaining on the primary calendar. And the campaign has been pushing the cause of seating disputed delegates from Florida and Michigan, states that were penalized for holding primaries before party rules allowed.
“You know it seems, it would be a little strange to have a nominee chosen by 48 states,” she told her supporters in Indianapolis. “We’ve got a long road ahead, but were going to keep fighting on that path because America is worth fighting for.”
The Rules and Bylaws Committee of the Democratic National Committee will convene on May 31 to settle the issue of whether to seat the delegates from those two states.
Going forward, both candidates intend to spend time in Washington, courting superdelegates and party officials.
Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska, an Obama supporter, said the candidate accomplished what he needed to by outperforming expectations in both states and showing that Mr. Wright was not driving off voters en masse. “The next question will be what happens with the undecided superdelegates,” Mr. Nelson said. “Will they begin to come his way? I don’t see anything to suggest they should start going her way.”
In North Carolina, Mr. Obama’s performance was bolstered by a strong black vote. He captured more than 90 percent of those voters in that state, where blacks accounted for one in three voters. But over all, Mrs. Clinton continued to draw strong support among whites, particularly older women.
The voting in Indiana and North Carolina came at the conclusion of an acrimonious two-week campaign that found Mr. Obama on the defensive over incendiary remarks by Mr. Wright. Yet there was little evidence either argument caused significant shifts in electoral patterns of previous states, with most Clinton voters saying the Wright episode affected their vote and Obama backers saying it had not.
Once again, Mrs. Clinton drew most of her support from women and older voters. Mr. Obama held onto his mainstays of support — blacks, young voters and liberals — and made small gains in Indiana with lower-income white voters who have eluded him in the past.
In both states, the candidates’ final arguments centered on a summertime suspension of the federal gasoline tax, which Mrs. Clinton proposed as an economic lift for voters and Mr. Obama derided as a political gimmick.
At this stage in the nominating fight, most voters seemed to have settled on their preferences before the battle intensified. Only a quarter of voters in Indiana decided whom to support in the last week, and a majority backed Mrs. Clinton, while one in five voters in North Carolina also decided late, and most of them backed Mr. Obama.
The country’s economic condition was listed as the chief concern of the Democratic primary voters. About 9 in 10 voters in Indiana and 8 in 10 voters in North Carolina said the economic slowdown had affected their family at least somewhat.
At least three in five voters in both states said the economy was the most important problem facing the country, according to surveys of voters leaving polling places that were conducted in both states by Edison/Mitofsky for the television networks and The Associated Press.
In Indiana, about 8 in 10 voters were white and about 15 percent were black. Six in 10 of the whites voted for Mrs. Clinton; about 9 in 10 blacks favored Mr. Obama.
Reporting was contributed by Patrick Healy, Carl Hulse, Dalia Sussman and Megan Thee.
Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company