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David Burstein '11 and Jon Delano '71 are following this year's presidential election and will have updates throughout the campaign.
David Burstein '11 and Jon Delano '71 are following this year's presidential election and will have updates throughout the campaign.

The Road to the White House: Is it all over in the Democratic Party?

David D. Burstein: Hey Jon

Jon Delano: Hi David. Is it all over in the Democratic Party?

DB: I think so. To me there seems to be no question Obama will be the nominee and tomorrow he'll go to the majority.

JD: Tomorrow he will have a majority of the pledged delegates, but he will still be short of the nomination. Still, I think he's the likely nominee. The super delegates are gravitating his way.

DB: I don't see how she comes back at this point, realistically.

JD: Hillary Clinton will not abandon her campaign. She will most likely suspend it. I suspect she will hang tight through the summer, waiting to see if Obama self-destructs.

DB: I don’t think she can suspend her campaign and resume it.

JD: Sure, she can. Nothing stops her from saying, “I won't campaign any more this summer.” Let's wait until the convention.

DB: Of course she can, but I don’t think she will.

JD: Then, if another Jeremiah Wright appears on the scene, she's still there.

DB: It would be very difficult. Romney's campaign is still suspended.

JD: The super delegates can go back and forth, and back and forth, all summer long.

DB: The general sense in the party though is to have a nominee.

JD: I just don't think Hillary is going to move that quickly to embrace Obama.

DB: No one in the party is going to change the nominee mid summer. Then she's done in the party.  If he loses she'll be blamed.

JD: I think she's going to find a way to cut a deal perhaps.

DB: …and if he wins she will be no part of it.

JD: This is such fun speculation!

DB: Obama camp is going to be very careful on any kind of deal. It’s what we love!

JD: Hillary Clinton has made a lot of believers in the last couple of months. Her campaign style is tenacious.

DB: It is.

JD: So even if she doesn't win, she has earned a lot of respect.

DB: But nothing is in her favor and by the end of June super delegates will put Obama quite over the top, and she needs to end…

JD: I predicted the Fourth of July.

DB: ...otherwise she will be going and going and she'll lose respect.

JD: Oh, super delegates could do that by mid-June.

DB: People don't like someone who doesn’t know when to stop.

JD: She will stop when she feels it's really, truly over for her. The media has been so against her that she doesn't care what the talk show gabbers say.

DB: I think that has already happened but not just the media is against her, reality is against her.

JD: LOL. Well, the numbers don't add up for her, that's for sure . . . unless Barack does something stupid before the Convention.

DB: And let's remember Obama survived Jeremiah Wright twice and he is showing he knows how to deal with attacks.

JD: I'm not so sure he's survived it.

DB: I think the issue here is that Obama is drawing a new electoral map.

JD: When was the last time a Democrat became president without West Virginia? Well, he will need to. Draw a new map, that is.

DB: Not necessarily. If he can win in Georgia, Texas, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, and Missouri he puts new states in play. It’s all about 270. He can make Kansas competitive.

DB: I honestly think that he can win in some of those states. He has shown it I think.

JD: Sounds like you're predicting an Obama landslide.

DB: I don’t think he'll win all of those, but I do think it will be a much less close election than people are predicting. I think the signs from MS, IL, and LA are ominous.

JD: I'm very concerned about the anti-black sentiment out there. I have seen it personally.

DB: It’s definitely out there.

JD: The country is not Haverford College.

DB: Absolutely.

JD: I know too many Dems who will never vote for an African American.

DB: I think that’s a big concern but I think as the fall gets closer a lot of people are going to hit their head and see, we really want a democrat in the white house and all those Hillary supporters, and prejudiced people will come out.

JD: Obama has to satisfy whites, at least some, that he's not another Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson.

DB: I think he has been working on that for some time.

JD: Perhaps. But Jeremiah Wright was a reminder of the problem, and he will be bashed with it over and over and over.

DB: Absolutely. I think once McCain starts getting more attention he'll see a lot of things come out as well.

JD: I think the real question is whether McCain is the right alternative for those Dems.

DB: … and I think a lot of people don’t buy McCain's maverick brand. That will be the big question, can democrats successfully paint McCain as Bush 3.

JD: The effort to brand him as Third Term Bush is brilliant. LOL we said the same thing.

DB: But a lot of people still think he's the maverick from 2000.

JD: And for those whites who are concerned about blacks taking over the White House, the issue is whether McCain is safe enough or just another Bush Republican. Lots to talk about, David.

DB: Let's do this again sooner rather than later...this will continue on!

JD: As a footnote, I did a quick search on the status of pledged delegates, and Democratic Party rules require the elected pledged delegates to “in good conscience reflect the sentiments of those who elected them.” That does appear to give the unscrupulous some wiggle room to betray their pledge to the voters of their congressional district that they would vote for Obama or Clinton.

PA law requires the delegate candidate to sign an oath that seems to require them to stick with the candidate they pledged to support.

Here's the oath: “I hereby declare to the voters of my political party in the District set forth above, that if elected, and in attendance as a Delegate or Alternate Delegate to the National Convention of my Party, I shall with all fidelity, to the best judgment and ability, in all matters coming before the Convention, support the Candidate for President of the United States whose name is set forth above, and shall use all honorable means within my power to aid in securing the nomination for such Candidate for President of the United States.”

“I shall, with all fidelity . . . support the Candidate.”

“Shall” is not a wiggle word, at least to lawyers. In any case, let's hope the pledged delegates do what they pledged to the voters they would do! Enough already!

The Climbing Stone, by Peter Rockwell '58, is located outside Magill Library.

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