Saturday, May 31

Deal Reached Over FL and MI Delegates

The committee agreed unanimously with a proposal offered early this morning from Florida DNC member Jon Ausman, under which the Sunshine State will send a full compliment of 185 delegates to Denver, all of whom will have one half of one vote. An initial motion to seat every Florida delegate with a full vote failed, though by a surprisingly narrow 12-15 margin.

Michigan, which initially moved its primary to January 15 in violation of DNC rules, caused significantly more consternation during deliberations today. But after extended negotiations, a motion from Virginia committee member Mame Reiley, a Clinton backer, allocated 69 delegates to Hillary Clinton and 59 delegates to Barack Obama, each delegate with half a vote, passed by a 19-8 margin.

Overall, Clinton earned nineteen net delegates from Florida and five from Michigan, before super delegates from both states will be included. With the additional delegates allowed seats in Denver, the magic number Clinton and Obama strive for will be 2,118, up from the 2,026 delegates needed before today.

(via FL, MI Deals Reached, Real Politics)

Wow! I Never Thought He'd Do It

"Barack Obama has resigned his 20 year membership in the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago in the aftermath of inflammatory remarks by his longtime pastor the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and more recent fiery remarks at the church by another minister." via AOL News

Barack Obama quits Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago Sun-Times

Obama Quits Church After Controversy, AOL News

Democrats Deciding Fate of Nomination Today?

Today is a big day for Sens. Obama and Clinton. The DNC Rules Committee is behind closed doors deciding the fate of the Florida and Michigan delegates. You might remember that both of those states decided to go against party rules and have their primaries earlier than allowed; their punishment was the stripping of their delegates at the conventions later this summer.

Of course, now that we have a horse race, each and every vote is precious and Sen. Clinton is particularly interested in having the FL and MI votes count in order to boost her overall delegate count and to raise the number of votes needed to win the nomination.

Unfortunately, the Rules Committee is in a no-win situation. There is no outcome that will make everyone happy, but maybe they can give the people in those two states a voice in the process.

Nothing is Fair about Florida and Michigan,

Democrats Meet Today to Hash out Florida and Michigan, The Washington Post

DNC Meeting Could Hasten End of Race, Politico

Friday, May 30

Do You Twitter?

If so, you might be interested to know that the White House, all the candidates and the senate and house are also twittering. You can follow them at:


White House, Senate and House

Media Feeds


In the Mailbag

From Shauna...

Do Puerto Rico and US held territories such as Virgin Islands and Guam hold primaries?
No, the Electoral College system does not provide for residents of U.S. Territories, such as Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa to vote for President. Unless citizens in U.S. Territories have official residency (domicile) in a U.S. State or the District of Columbia (and vote by absentee ballot or travel to their State to vote), they cannot vote in the Presidential election. Note that prior to the adoption of the 23rd Amendment, DC residents could not vote in the Presidential election. (answer via US Electoral College)

The political parties may authorize voters in primary elections in Territories to select delegates to represent them at the political party conventions. But that process does not affect the Electoral College system.

For another perspective on this question, read Puerto Rico's Ironic Role from The Miami Herald.

From Trish at Where's the Box...

Do you have a P4M sidebar button with a transparent background? I just added a colored background to my blog and it would be nice.
I'll have to talk to my people about that and see what we can do.


Ugh! Has it really been over a week since my last post? Sorry, I got caught up in the last day of school, the weekend holiday and kids home for the summer. Let's see if we can get back on track since I missed a primary (or two).

  • Last Tuesday, Kentucky and Oregon weighed in with their primaries. Clinton won Kentucky and Oregon went for Obama.
  • That brings us to next Tuesday, June 3 and the final primaries of this election. Voters in Montana and South Dakota will cast their ballots while Republicans in New Mexico will caucus.
  • Even with the remaining primaries, neither Democratic candidate will secure the nomination. That brings us to the conundrum that is facing the super delegates and the party officials. How do they resolve the stalemate quickly and with minimal blood shed? Who is more worthy of the nomination? Who is more electable?
  • Sen. Clinton provided answers to some of those questions in this letter that was sent yesterday to the super delegates appealing for their support.
  • On Saturday, Democratic party leaders will meet to decide what to do with the FL and MI delegates.

Stay tuned. With Obama promising that "this will all be over next week" there is sure to be some fireworks coming.

Wednesday, May 21

Seen Around the Web

What is Clinton's argument now? The Politico
Last week, Clinton won West Virginia by an incredible 41 percentage points — a quadruple landslide! — and since then Barack Obama has picked up 22 superdelegates and Clinton has picked up four. And when you are in a place where your victories don’t matter, then you are in a very bad place.

Missing: One Concession Speech, Times of London
“We have returned to Iowa with a majority of delegates elected by the American people, and you have put us within reach of the Democratic nomination for president of the United States in America,” he said. And yet, there was still something missing. A concession speech by his opponent.

Clinton's Claim, The New York Sun
Her claim rests on arguments vociferously and passionately put forward by Democrats when Vice President Gore lost the general election to George W. Bush by a whisker in 2000. The lesson of Gore 2000, Mrs. Clinton suggests, is that in a true democracy it is winning a majority of the popular vote that should be paramount. Any other way of gauging public opinion, such as the disproportionate system of allocating electoral college votes that doomed Mr. Gore in 2000, must come second to the simple Jeffersonian notion that the person who wins the most votes should be the victor. She has a point.

Rolling Out the Vice President

There was a question a few weeks ago about when candidates have to announce their vice president picks. I outlined the process in this post.

However, I ran across an interesting article, "Timing the Vice President," that looked at the last five elections and the timing of the VP announcement for both parties. Traditionally, the announcement has come 1-6 days before the start of the convention.

The article then looked at this year's election and the strategy that both campaigns may employ in order to roll out their picks with the most fanfare.

Good stuff.

Tuesday, May 20

Obama Takes Oregon

Well, with about the same margin of victory that Hillary had in Kentucky, Obama wins Oregon. How much longer can Clinton stay in the fight?

Another Tuesday, Another Primary...or two

I'm sorry that it's been a little quiet around here since last week. I've learned that if I don't take a break every so often from all the political speak, it just wears me thin. But I'm back and we've got two more primaries under way today: Kentucky and Oregon.

Actually, they've already called Kentucky for Clinton by a margin of 2-to-1. Oregon's vote totals won't be available until after midnight on the east coast, so we have a way to go for those results. But the Kentucky victory is just another detour for Obama to endure as he tries to reach those magical nomination numbers.

Clinton Wins Kentucky, Focus Turns to Oregon,

Clinton Claims Victory in Kentucky,

Friday, May 16

Freedom Friday

Your Political Profile:

Overall: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal

Social Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

Personal Responsibility: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal

Fiscal Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

Ethics: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal

Defense and Crime: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal

I saw this fun quiz on my friend's blog and thought this would be something fun for a very rainy, dreary Freedom Friday. It's a simple and quick quiz that breaks down how conservative and liberal you are in several areas. It's another great reminder that we live in a country that allows us to independently think about issues. What a great freedom!

Thursday, May 15

Good Genes

If there was ever any evidence that John McCain's age should be of no concern for his presidential run, look to his mother. She's 96 years young, full of life and traveling all over the nation campaigning for her son with her sharp wit and mind.

Edwards Backs Obama

Just when Obama faced bleak headlines, raising doubts about his ability to connect with white working-class voters after a substantial loss to party rival Sen. Hillary Clinton in West Virginia, the Illinois senator was able to trot out the one Democrat who might be able to help.

No one missed the fact that Barack Obama and John Edwards looked right together. "They looked fantastic together," gushed Jill Zuckman, the Chicago Tribune's able political writer. "They looked like a ticket." Obama-Backing Edwards Elbows Aside Clinton, The Nation

The announcement was a blow to Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose bid for the Democratic nomination appears all but lost, and brought Obama a welcome distraction from his landslide defeat Tuesday in the West Virginia primary.

The 41-percentage-point rout sparked new questions about his persistent troubles appealing to white, blue-collar voters, even if it did little to boost Clinton's prospects. In Edwards, Obama picked up the support of a former presidential candidate who had emphasized his roots as the son of a mill worker and aimed his pitch at working-class voters.
John Edwards finally makes his choice: Barack Obama, LA Times

Wednesday, May 14

Clinton Wins Easily; Buys More Time?

  • Clinton carries broad spectrum of West Virginia voters
  • As expected, biggest margins are at lower end of the socioeconomic ladder
  • But it is still tough for Clinton to diminish Obama's aura of inevitability
  • Obama's campaign travel plans show he's looking toward November


Tuesday, May 13

Social Networking Sites Help Candidates Build Support

Although I have a Facebook account, I have yet to find the worth in this popular social networking site. Maybe you need to be under 25 to clearly understand its allure and power, or maybe you need to be a presidential candidate and find that through this viral network you can harness over half a million millenial voters in a matter of hours if you use it correctly.

Here's an interesting article from Reader's Digest on how Sen. Obama used Facebook to build momentum and support for his campaign in the early months of 2007.

In January 2007 Farouk Olu Aregbe, a student government coordinator at the University of Missouri, launched a Facebook group, "One Million Strong for Barack." A year later, the group had signed up half a million "friends" (in Facebook lingo) as Obama supporters.

This knack for pairing technology and activism is only one way the Millennials differ from their baby boomer and me generation parents. Encompassing 47 million young adults between the ages of 18 and 29, the Millennials constitute the first generation to come of age in the 21st century. Ambitious, civic-minded, and socially engaged, they may well decide the next President of the United States.

And the candidates know it. Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy by video on her website. Obama's site went interactive so that supporters could "talk" to each other without a filter. Last March, John McCain invited his website visitors to challenge his NCAA basketball tournament picks on MySpace, another youth-networking site.

All the candidates realize the power of Facebook and MySpace and have set up a presence on each of those sites hoping to draw in a demographic that may well help put them in the White House.

Nebraska & West Virginia Go to Polls Today

With only 8 more primaries left before the conventions, Nebraska and West Virginia weigh in today with their votes. Clinton is expected to win West Virginia by a landslide, but in a primary season full of twists and turns, it is still anyone's game.

And it's probably just that fact that keeps Sen. Clinton chugging along even though most people agree she has no chance of pulling out the nomination at this point. But there has definitely been a shift in Obama's campaign as he is turning his attention from defeating Clinton to defeating McCain. His strategists are shifting gears and beginning to set their sights on the November elections.

The Obama Rules, RealClear Politics

Advice for Obama: Get Specific, Newsweek

Another Epic West Virginia Battle, USA Today

Friday, May 9

Freedom Friday

One of my friends wrote a great Freedom Friday post back in March that I've been meaning to highlight. She's the mom to four kids and waiting on her fifth to arrive from China. Maybe it's because she's a mom or maybe because she was reflecting on how different her daughter's life is in China right now, but she wrote a great post on her family's favorite freedoms.

The freedom to grow our family. As a pre-adopting mom of a little girl from China, this is especially important to me. We have the freedom to have as many or as few children as we desire or as the Lord gives us. We are free to add these blessings to our live through birth or adoption. We even receive benefits and breaks from our government in recognition of the effort and expense that children incur.

Read the rest over at The Gang's All Here. And let us know what your family's favorite freedoms are this week for Freedom Friday.

Wednesday, May 7

Who Knew a Tee Shirt Could Cause So Much Trouble

Yesterday as I searched the web for answers to a reader's voting question, I stumbled across another Hoosier who had an equally perplexing and disturbing experience at the polls. I'll let Gayla explain in her own words from her blog, Not Before Coffee:

As a fairly new voter - this being my third voting experience and second Presidential voting experience, I was unaware of the “rule” that you are not permitted to wear attire of any kind that supports your candidate.

In a loud and controlling tone, the [poll worker] informed me that I would have to “go to the restroom and turn my shirt wrong side out or leave the premises immediately.”

I looked at him, dumbfounded I’m sure and asked why I was not made aware of that rule? Where was that “rule” in all the voting material I’d received? Where was that “rule” on the voter registration website? Well, I’ve spent a great deal of time trying to find that “rule” and have yet to find anything on a rule as such that pertains to actual “voters” and not campaign volunteers, police or exit poll personnel.
Gayla did contact her local and state voter registration offices and Hillary Clinton's local headquarters and found out there was such a law in place...they just didn't know where to find it.
According to a comment left by Chris on Not Before Coffee,

It’s called electioneering. It’s a state law. Pretty much every state has them. But in Indiana “electioneering includes expressing support or opposition to any candidate or political party or expressing approval or disapproval of any public question in any manner that could reasonably be expected to convey that support or opposition to another individual.” Wearing a shirt with a candidates name on it, or even a political stance on something like war, could be considered electioneering in most states.

The fact that it’s slightly different for every state probably explains why the campaign office couldn’t point you in the specific direction. But the fact that just about every state has this law on their books makes them reasonably positive that the law does exist.

The kicker is that electioneering is considered a Class A misdemeanor. Oy.

When you walk in to sign in, you’re given a piece of paper that labels you Democrat or Republican. What does it matter if you’ve gone the step further to show your support?
So what did Gayla do after being confronted about her electioneering?

In case you are wondering, I did turn my shirt wrong side out. I cast my vote and then when I got in my truck, I took my shirt off - in front of God and everybody and turned it right side out.
Has anyone else seen this law enforced or even knew it existed? Crazy stuff!

Let's Open the Mail Bag

I received an question a few weeks ago from Belle. She wrote:

I'm just curious...when will VP running mates be announced? Will McCain wait until the Democratic nominee is chosen? If so, is that a strategic thing? Could his choice of running mate change based on who wins the Democratic nomination? How does this work? Enlighten us!

Great question Belle! There is no formal timetable for when candidates announce their running mates for Vice President, however, they must be named by the national party conventions so they can be formally nominated.

Usually Vice President selections are named between Memorial Day and the middle of July with the Democratic nominee announced first because their convention is first. However, with the horse race we're seeing in the Democratic party, it will be interesting to see if either candidate will start floating the names of potential running mates as a way to gain momentum.

The naming of a running mate is a very important decision. Often, the presidential nominee will name a vice presidential candidate who will bring geographic or ideological balance to the ticket or appeal to a particular constituency. The vice presidential candidate might also be chosen on the basis of traits the presidential candidate is perceived to lack, or on the basis of name recognition. Popular runners-up in the presidential nomination process are commonly considered, to foster party unity.

The ultimate goal of vice presidential candidate selection is to help and not hurt the party's chances of getting elected. According to Wikipedia, "an overly dynamic selection can backfire by outshining the presidential candidate. A classic example of this came in 1988, when Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis chose experienced Texas Senator Lloyd Bentsen as his running mate. The public perception of Dukakis was so bland that one West Virginia elector cast a presidential ballot for Bentsen rather than Dukakis.

The last presidential candidate to not name a vice presidential choice, leaving the matter up to the convention, was Democrat Adlai Stevenson in 1956. The convention chose Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver over Massachusetts Senator (and later president) John F. Kennedy.

In cases where the presidential nomination is still in doubt as the convention approaches, the campaigns for the two positions may become intertwined.

In 1976, Ronald Reagan, who was trailing President Gerald R. Ford in the presidential delegate count, announced prior to the Republican National Convention that, if nominated, he would select Senator Richard Schweiker as his running mate. This move backfired to a degree, as Schweiker's relatively liberal voting record alienated many of the more conservative delegates who were considering a challenge to party delegate selection rules to improve Reagan's chances. In the end, Ford narrowly won the presidential nomination and Reagan's selection of Schweiker became moot."

Split Decision

Despite a victory for Sen. Clinton in Indiana yesterday, the margin of victory was only 22,000 votes. It was not the convincing win that the she needed to put herself back in a race where she still trails in popular vote, number of delegates and the number of states won. With only six contest and 217 pledged delegates remaining, all eyes are on the super delegates now if Clinton doesn't step out of the race.

I'm guessing the pressure for her to get out of the race will really start to mount now as we get closer to the convention and Democrats will want to avoid having an all out melee at the convention.

As I reported last night, Sen. Obama won a decisive victory in North Carolina. According to ABC News, his support came from 91 percent of African-Americans who accounted for a third of voters in the state. The Illinois senator also benefited from a surge of new voters who favored Obama by a heavy margin.

Obama Big Winner in N.C., Clinton Ekes Out Ind. Win, ABC

Analysis: As Obama nears finish line, can Clinton rebound in time?

Stick a Fork in Her--She's Done, New York Post

He Beat Hillary, But Can He Beat McCain, The New Republic

Tuesday, May 6

Indiana Too Close to Call

It's almost midnight and this armchair pundit is going to bed. But it looks like Sen. Obama easily won North Carolina 56% to Clinton's 42%.

The question now is about Indiana which remains too close to call. While CNN has not yet projected a winner in Indiana, where 72 delegates are at stake, Sen. Clinton is crediting her supporters there with the victory.

Full story and the eventual winner in the morning!

Can You Take Kids in Voting Booth?

I received an e-mail from an Indiana dad today who was put off when a poll worker told him his 13-year-old son was not allowed to stand in the voting booth with him while he selected his candidates. The boy had to stand off to the side. He wanted to know if there was a regulation in Indiana that states a child is not allowed in the voting booth.

I did a little research and found the 2008 Indiana Election Day Handbook and according to page 7 in a section called "Who is Allowed in the Polling Place," it states that voters casting ballots and children under 18 years of age accompanying the voter are allowed in the polling place. Technically, the polling place is not the voting booth but it didn't state anything to the contrary.

I encouraged this Hoosier to contact his local board of elections and inquire about such a regulation. Does anyone else have any advice or know of any voting regulation that says you can't take your children in the voting booth with you? I've never had any trouble taking my kids in with me.

What Hoosiers are Thinking

It's been interesting to read the blogs of a few Hoosiers who have shared their thoughts and experience being in a state where a primary finally matters.

You can read what kind of trouble Kendra is stirring up over at A Superhero Princess & Monkey. I'll forgive her for liking country music since she is a political junkie.

And over at Hoosier Happenings there is much concern over voter ID and excitement over all the candidate sightings that happen when the primary comes to your state.

The Polls are Open

It's another day and another primary in Indiana and North Carolina. The polls are open and now it's time for the people to decide the fate of the candidates.

So we need to hear from all you Tarheels and Hoosiers. Did you vote today? Did you take your kids with you? Anything exciting, odd, or fun you want to share?

Monday, May 5

Another Day of Reckoning

It's another day of reckoning for Sens. Clinton and Obama on Tuesday for the Indiana and North Carolina primaries. Clinton has appeared to enjoy a surge of support over the last two weeks after a poor showing for Obama during their last debate and the continued Wright controversy that still dogs him.

That just means it's still anybody's game. And Hoosiers and North Carolinians like a good game.

Will Indiana Save Hillary? Pajamas Media

Tuesday's Primary Unlikely to End Democratic Race, L.A. Times

Thursday, May 1

Getting to Know John McCain

I've been thinking over the last several weeks that I feel like the Democratic race for the nomination is starting to feel like the actual general election. Sens. Clinton and Obama dominate the headlines every day and with all the drama and controversy they've brought to the political landscape, you sometimes forget that there's actually a Republican candidate in the mix.

Some pundits think the drawn out democratic battle is actually good for McCain, but I just hope he has time to get himself and his issues out there. Eventually.

I was especially longing to hear more from McCain after I read this fascinating article by Karl Rove. The article was written after Rove had dinner with Doris Day who is married to Col. Bud Day, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, fighter pilot, Vietnam POW and roommate of John McCain at the Hanoi Hilton.
"Mr. Day relayed to me one of the stories Americans should hear. It involves what happened to him after escaping from a North Vietnamese prison during the war. When he was recaptured, a Vietnamese captor broke his arm and said, "I told you I would make you a cripple."

The break was designed to shatter Mr. Day's will. He had survived in prison on the hope that one day he would return to the United States and be able to fly again. To kill that hope, the Vietnamese left part of a bone sticking out of his arm, and put him in a misshapen cast. This was done so that the arm would heal at "a goofy angle," as Mr. Day explained. Had it done so, he never would have flown again."

What's that have to do with John McCain? Read on here...

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