Jon Delano '71 and David Burstein '11 are following this year's presidential election and will have updates throughout the campaign.
The Road to the White House: Obama + ?
David D. Burstein: Hey Jon.
Jon Delano: Hi David. So how is Barack Obama going to handle Hillary Clinton?
DB: That’s the big question. I think he just marches on.
JD: I interviewed a number of Clinton delegates from PA yesterday, and they are not happy.
DB: He's already been ignoring her to some degree, I think in a few days she will suspend.
JD: They feel HRC has been treated with disrespect, especially by the corporate media.
DB: This attack on the media she has been playing out is embarrassing.
JD: One delegate told me that Obama was using the super delegates to "steal" the nomination from the person who got the most popular votes! A lot of unhappiness out there.
DB: Yeah... there is bitterness, but I still think that she will not be his VP and everyone will unite.
JD: Saying it won't make it so. Obama must do something dramatic.
DB: I think all those women who screamed "We're voting for McCain" won't vote for McCain.
JD: I think he needs to sit down with Hillary and have a face to face.
DB: I'm sure he will do something like that as soon as she figures out what she really wants. I’m not sure she really wants to be VP. It may just be the only thing she can think of right now.
JD: I am not convinced that an Obama-Clinton ticket is as strong as some might think, but Obama needs somebody close to the Clinton camp.
DB: I think it would be a doomed ticket. I don’t understand why people think it’s "unstoppable."
JD: Well, doomed or not, I don't think it will happen.
DB: She fundamentally undercuts his major theme and message. I think Obama needs to figure out who would be the best VP and choose that person. I think the party will unite.
JD: True, but there's always political calculation involved.
DB: The idea that a major Clinton supporter is going to bring lots of Clinton regular voters on board is a stretch.
JD: As far as the Democratic Party, unity will come when Hillary and Barack join hands in some way.
DB: Clinton voters don’t care about Ed Rendell, they want Hillary. They don’t care about Ted Strickland, etc. They want their candidate.
JD: In all my years, I do not recall a Democratic Convention so evenly divided between two candidates.
DB: It won’t do much for the so called division.
JD: That means that Obama MUST find a way to solve his Hillary problem. LOL. In the end, only a few hundred votes separate them, and that means the Democratic convention is not really "owned" by Obama.
JD: That spells difficulty unless he solves the Hillary problem.
DB: But I don’t think she will take it there, she will concede eventually, in a week or so. I don’t think she'll hit the trail every day but she will campaign a bit, and Bill even less.
JD: Perhaps, after meeting with Obama and getting the "respect" she feels she deserves.
DB: She was introduced by Terry McAuliffe last night as the next president.
JD: I don't think she really wants to be VEEP, but who knows.
DB: She still thinks it can happen.
JD: And, of course, it can happen because the super delegates are not committed. They can go back and forth until they vote on August 27. That means if Obama slips up, Hillary is there.
DB: Right... but none of the Obama delegates are going to switch even if Obama slips up. Obama delegates do not want to change candidates mid summer.
JD: One already did -- first with Clinton, then Obama, now back with Clinton.
DB: It’s never happened.
JD: Super delegates are easy to flip IF they see a political reason to do so. Right now, it's all Obama.
DB: In theory, but he also has an over majority.
JD: But I think it's wishful thinking on Clinton's part.
DB: So over 300 super would need to switch. She will have to move on by next week.
JD: Well, who knows what the final count will be. The two unpledged congressmen out here are still unpledged.
DB: I think she's run a great campaign and the votes are in, the delegates are in.
JD: Are you worried that Obama has won so few contests from March 4 onward?
DB: Not really.
JD: She finished strong, he looked weak.
DB: I think that primaries are different than general elections.
JD: I agree with that.
DB: He knows he has weaknesses and he needs time to work on them, and now since the primary went on so long he knows what his big weaknesses are. He knows endorsements won’t help him. He has to get down there in the thick of West Virginia and Kentucky.
JD: South Dakota was supposed to be Obama country, especially with Tom Daschle. Pennsylvania could be one of them. I think this state is up for grabs. Of course, that's good for all of us who like a good political fight in our backyard.
DB: Indeed. I have to run, but we will follow up soon.
JD: On to Denver...