Pressing On

Friday, April 04, 2008


For some in the media, the race for the Democratic nomination is effectively over. Most outlets, however, continue to cover every twist and turn as if it all still matters. Slate political reporter Chris Beam, Atlantic associate editor Marc Ambinder and ABC News political director David Chalian weigh in.

Comments [13]

Dorothy k Dean from Milwaukee WI

The criticisms of the candidate debates is baffling. Have you forgotten the professionalim and issue-oriented debates sposnored and moderated by the League of Women Voters of the US? Why is the League no longer moderating the debates? Does it not meet the the low standards of fun and games focus on style and not substance?

Apr. 20 2008 11:19 PM
sharon baker from st. paul, mn

In regard to the story about the Harem Salon in Indiana, I was absolutely shocked, disappointed and infuriated by the barber's comment about the possibility of having the first woman president of the United States. The idea that we wouldn't be taken seriously in the world because we'd have a woman at the helm is so incredibly outdated! There have been other distinguished women leading countries of different political spectra in the rest of the world throughout history. If anything, in the year 2008, we in the United States NOT having had a woman president yet is embarrassing, and makes the country seem backward and not progressive in comparison to other countries. Not to mention the sheer incompetence of our current leader, who has had the dubious achievement of plunging the world's feelings toward the united states into the toilet more than any other president thus far!

Apr. 20 2008 05:53 PM
Jack from Chicago

Superdelegates were created so democracy could be subverted providing clear evidence that Democrats are afraid of true democracy within their own ranks. Naturally, then, their trust-in-the-state mentality permeates the party's federal legislative efforts to limit personal liberty and opportunity.

Apr. 19 2008 05:56 PM
Justin Horner from Oakland, California

The rules of the contest--and we know that rules are more important to Obama than so-called "will of the people" (see all efforts to do nothing about Florida and Michigan)--are that the nominee is selected by who gets the most delegates, both pledged and super. As the structure of the system has allowed--and, indeed, the Democratic Party enshrined as possible as a check against electability concerns--is that the loser in pledged delegates can win overall with superdelegates. Those were the rules of the contest, agreed upon by all players, and, under the rules, Hillary can win. To constantly, incessantly, daily and hourly insist that the woman in the strongest political position of any woman in American history, who can win under the rules of the contest at hand, drop out smacks of sexism and is truly un-Democratic.

The most common unchecked assumption of the whole Obama media squad is that the superdelegates will never "overturn" the popular vote by going with a candidate with fewer pledged delegates. If there has been a sizable block of Superdelegates who have made such a pledge, I certainly missed it. The silence on this unexamined assumption by the media is poor journalism and by the Superdelegates, a story worth exploring

Apr. 19 2008 05:22 PM
derek monroe

to cserre
The whole business with "superdelegates" and electoral college is undemocratic as backroom wheeling and dealing of banana republic hacks who determine who is going to be a new commander in chief. This very peculiar curiosity is characteristic only to the USA and NOT any other industrialized country. It's for a reason of keeping the control of the country within a very narrow band of verified and vetted "challengers" to the status quo. So once again Hillary, Obama , McCain or other Joe Schmou is absolutely unable to affect a change since the vehicle of American political system is a train that runs on tracks and not an all terrain vehicle of mostly European democracies. By the way in a democracy there is no such thing as "popular" or "unpopular" or "superdelegate" vote. The vote is a vote and it must count for what it is. Otherwise it's all meaningless.

Apr. 10 2008 10:35 PM
cserre from Arizona

This is actually a closer race than many journalists present it to be, one proof being that Hillary would be ahead if the primaries were "winner takes all". The rules being what they are, your assertion that the race is over is still based only on pledged delegates. You have, apparently, bought lock, stock and barrel into the Obama campaign's rhetoric that the pledged delegate count is the Alpha and Omega of the nomination process.
If so then yes, admittedly, the race is virtually over.
Certainly pledged delegates are a determining factor but not the only one, in particular given the small Percentage of Obama's delegate lead. But, even as it is apparent that the assignment of pledged delegates is exquisitely Byzantine (notably in caucuses/ cf. the exemplary Texas 2 step that just barely finished...) , Obama supporters -many of them journalists - have successfully branded into the collective conscience that the pledged delegate count represents the voice of the people. Thus they put pressure on Super Delegates to automatically endorse the nominee who will have won the most pledged delegates (clearly Obama), or else suffer the wrath of the people, thus relinquishing their raison d'etre.
Hillary's legitimacy to the nomination is to trump the "voice of the people" argument by winning the popular vote. You make absolutely no mention of this more feasible alternative that is the answer to your question why Hillary is still in the race.

Apr. 09 2008 06:28 PM
Marc Naimark from Paris, France

Here, here, Julia! I just listened to the podcast and rushed here to see if anyone had chastised Bob on his use of "coronate". The only legitimate use of this word is to imbibe Corona beer.

And Brooke remains the coronating glory of OTM.

Apr. 08 2008 04:09 AM
derek monroe

Hello there! As person that covers the American Horse Race for foreign media from time to time, it is really funny to see many of my fellow citizens get so passionate about it. While the race is on Rep-Dem level is a contest between Coke and Pepsi, the rivalry between Hillary and Obama is between Pepsi and Diet Pepsi (no Geraldine Ferraro pun intended). American voters fail to notice total class dimension of the race who is really backing all of the candidates, where is the money coming from etc. and the voting records of all involved. Whether it's 107 mil earned since the White House days, corporate games of major strategists of both Dems campaigns (Colombia, Canada), family connections of McCain (big cold one from Anhauser-Bush anyone?). Of course if anyone digs any deeper the truth of another annointed artistocratic transfer of power would be just too hard to ignore. But that's what bread and circus are for. And for the end , did anyone ever heard of investment banker getting a sabbathical from the bank? No?. I guess Chelsea Clinton is setting a precedent again and again.

Apr. 07 2008 09:27 PM
Rocky Supinger from Pomona, CA

Here here, Mr. Brett. I was shot through with rage at that joke.

Apr. 07 2008 03:48 PM
george brett

A 4 and 2 start to the season, with a sweep of the $42 million Detroit Tigers, should not be compared to the Clinton Campaign. Thank You

Apr. 06 2008 07:27 PM
David M. Silverman

I have just been listening to on the media on station WUOM and I think there are some errors which are not being covered by the media correctly.
First of all this is a party election for the selection of delegates to their convention. The numbers of voters are not necessarly pertinent at this time it is the total number of delegates. Current data shows that Senator Obama leads Senator Clinton by a margin of 101 difference in delegates. What does this mean when compared with the total number of delegates cast so far? It means that he has a lead of 4% which has remained relatively the same for many weeks now and quite probably will be the difference at convention time. A 4% lead is in no manner a mandate. That is 0.4/10 voters or 4/100 voters. By no stretch of the imagination can this be construed as a mandate or overwhelming victory. It is more like even stevens in delegates. Therefore the selection of a candidate must go to the convention and the superdelegates of the party must make a very serious decision if they wish to select a WINNING candidate in the general election. It is up to the party to ultimately select that candidate. It may very well be a different person all together when they make that final choice. That is party politics and that is what the whole bash has been about.
Let it go to fruition and let the party make the final decision not the media.

Apr. 06 2008 06:52 PM
Robin S from San Rafael, CA

Yes, you are going to make a large contingent of Hillary supporters angry with this report. What a disappointment coming from you!

Unless I missed something did you ever mention that Barack Obama will NOT have enough delegates or votes to win the nomination either? Maybe you should have explained, too, how Obama is the obstacle blocking the votes from MI and FL. The DNC did not punish other states that moved their primaries up on the calendar. There are so many more issues relevant to the FL and MI votes that are too numerous to go into a comment.

So, the bias against Hillary of the media continues, even here. That's sad.

Apr. 06 2008 05:56 PM
Julia Bronder

Love this program but, "coronating"?? Pul-lease!! The word is "crowning". I first heard this misuse several years ago while watching a breathless, overawed ABC anchor commenting on portraits in Kensington Palace. A person is crowned, not "coronated".

Apr. 05 2008 07:29 AM

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