Obama Still Out Smarting Clinton By Taking The High Road

For a politician who was supposed to be the inevitable winner of the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton really has not been very smart.

Barack Obama’s campaign has out smarted her every step of the way. They out smarted her by playing close attention to the party’s rules, and using them to win. They out smarted her on message, having opposed the Iraq war from the start, and being the candidate who supported diplomacy as opposed to continuing George Bush’s policies. As Hillary Clinton stuck to a top down mind set, both in her campaign and support for the increasingly unpopular nanny state, Obama stressed a bottom up mind set to empower individuals.

In a year when voters were sick of the Bush years, Obama beat Clinton by calling for change while Hillary Clinton offered more of the same. Clinton also tried to claim she represented change, failing to understand that you had to provide hard evidence that your campaign really represented change. Just repeating the word change was not enough.

While Clinton took the low road, Obama took the high road. While he was not my first choice, the difference here was too vast to ignore and won my support, as well as that of many other voters. Each time Clinton engaged in Rove style dirty politics to try to stop Obama, it only demonstrated further why we should support Obama over Clinton.

Today is another major event in the fight for the nomination. While the Clinton forces are engaging in silly arguments (and hissing at Obama supporters) on the inside, and protesting outside, the Obama forces are once again out smarting Clinton as the rules committee meets.

If we were only looking at fairness, neither Michigan or Florida should count at all. As Josh Marshall points out, changing the rules in this manner is unfair to those of us who live in those two states, and represents the true act of disenfranchisement. When voters are told that an election will not count the results are not indicative of the real wishes of the voters of the states. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that only Clinton’s name was on the ballot in Michigan, and Obama most likely would have won in the state if there was a fair primary. For all practical purposes she began campaigning at the last moment in Florida. Neither the voters of Michigan and Florida or Barack Obama, the candidate who followed the party’s rules, should be penalized by counting votes for Clinton in those states.

There are further dynamics in play. Obama would be well within his rights to protest any settlement which awards Clinton more delegates, but he is again out smarting Clinton by not doing this. Obama has agreed to a compromise which does give Clinton an edge she does not deserve in Florida.

The rational for this is quite clear. Just as Obama took the high road over Clinton in the manner in which he campaigned, attracting the support of many voters and superdelegates in doing so, Obama’s camp realizes that much of what happens today is also for the benefit of the remaining uncommitted superdelegates. While Obama cannot risk giving Clinton enough delegates to erode his lead, he can afford to give up a handful. In the process he shows himself as the candidate willing to compromise for the good of the party. This comes as a stark contrast to Clinton’s demands with regards to Michigan, where they seek to deny Obama any delegates in a state he otherwise would have won. Not only are they claiming the delegates based upon an inflated vote count due to Obama not being on the ballot, but they are denying Obama the support of the uncommitted vote, which undoubtedly was anti-Clinton. Even write in votes for Obama did not count in Michigan.

Not even Putin was as undemocratic as Hillary Clinton. He at least allowed the pretense of a choice in the last election.

Superdelegates will see a choice between Obama, who was willing to compromise when he did not have to, and Clinton, whose demands are totally unreasonable. If by now there really are superdelegates who are undecided between these two, this might be the final straw to get them to choose Obama.

Updates:

The Clinton Protest

Democrats Reach Compromise While Clinton Threatens Convention Fight

Unity Among Democrats or Realignment?

Further Thoughts on Yesterday’s Compromise

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5 Comments

  1. 1
    janine says:

    The fact is the MI and FL results disproportionately favors Clinton’s core group: the low information voters who didn’t know that those were outlaw primaries.

  2. 2
    MJ says:

    He may have won over the delegates, but this household is not voting for him. His talk of change, may not be the change the people want. The saying is Be Careful what you wish for……..

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    MJ,

    Yes, there are many Clinton supporters who are as conservative as Clinton and prefer to continue the policies of the past. Therefore many Clinton supporters such as yourself will feel much more comfortable voting for the Republicans.

    Fortunately Obama has brought in enough new voters who do want change to outweigh the loss of conservative Democrats who back Clinton.

  4. 4
    Mandy says:

    Yes, MJ if you are at heart a Republican you SHOUDL support Hillary, whose roots as a Golwater supporter never have left her.

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    Mandy,

    I try to avoid bringing up Clinton’s time as a Goldwater Girl as it is an unfair insult to Barry Goldwater (who did consider himself a liberal in his later years). For example, while Goldwater was strongly opposed to the role of the religious right in politics, Hillary Clinton has been greatly influenced by the religious right for years.

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