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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Andy Martin on the struggle between McCain, Obama and Clinton

Chicago’s legendary Internet columnist and muckraker says the Democratic Party’s nominating process is undemocratic, and has probably produced a nominee unrepresentative of the party and unacceptable to most Americans. Martin says that Hillary Clinton’s seeming “nutcracker” strategy has placed the presumptive nominee in a pincer movement with her on one flank and Senator John McCain on the other.

Executive Editor

“Factually Correct, Not
Politically Correct”





(CHICAGO)(June 4, 2008) I have not yet ordered my Senator Hillary Clinton nutcracker [
but she did a nut cracking job on Senator Barack Obama Tuesday.

Obama finds himself under siege by a pincer movement with Clinton on one flank and senator John McCain on the other.

The utter fraudulence of anointing himself as his party’s candidate was brought home by Obama’s loss in South Dakota. Clinton surprised her opponent by winning a victory in a state Obama was expected to hold. Hillary forced an embarrassing split decision on Tuesday.

Not surprisingly, the mainstream media (MSNBC, CNN, Fox) missed the significance of the night. There was blather about Obama’s brilliant speech and McCain’s lackluster remarks. OK. Let me start by stating the obvious: Barack Obama is the best after-dinner speaker in America today. He is a true Toastmaster.

But Obama’s “speech” was just another tried and true rehash of his 2004 convention oratory. He has been recycling 2004 ever since then. Yes, it worked against the early Clinton in January and February. But Obama was trashed by Hillary in the later states. Despite Obama’s speeches and crowds he was not able to prevail in later primary states. And the latest primary of all comes in November.

The significance of Tuesday was not the speech making. Rather the fact that Clinton is still in, and McCain is on the attack, placed Obama in a pincer movement on his first night as a putative nominee. McCain launched his attack on Obama’s nonexistent record, and Clinton cited her record as a reason she is the best candidate to run against McCain.

The day began with reports Obama would claim victory. Clinton parried Obama with a “conference call” in which she announced her availability to be a vice president. In her speech she congratulated Obama for running, but not for “winning.” And she grabbed a primary night victory for an even split on the last day.

When analysts look back on Clinton’s campaign they will see that she was poorly served last year by the hangers on and “regime remnants” of the Clinton White House. It was only when Hillary took command that her campaign began to click. Obama won caucus states where affluent voters could show up at night and “vote” in what are essentially doctored and rigged insider elections. Clinton won primaries. Obama’s loss in South Dakota suggests he could not repeat today many of his earlier caucus victories. So Democrats are stuck with a nominee who ran downhill for the last half of the primary season. Not a great start.

In February I advised Hillary to “take it to the convention.” That is still my advice. She should take up the cause of party reform, and seek to abolish both caucuses and proportional voting. Some of the results were absurd: Obama won delegate pluralities in tiny states, while Clinton could not achieve any traction in the big states where she prevailed. Is this democracy? Obviously not.

Democrats need to tilt their campaign process more towards rewarding primary winners, and not favoring majorities in tiny states. The current process of allowing “red” (i.e. conservative) states to dominate the Democratic Party’s nominating process with caucuses and unbalanced primaries (e.g. Texas) places the Democrats in danger of choosing an unrepresentative nominee. The entire operation is illogical.

Finally, while Obama may believe he is the nominee he is only a very provisional choice. In reality he has only staked his claim, an uncertain claim at that. Obama is at the mercy of muckrakers and opposition researchers between now and the Denver convention. The reality is that he has delegates who are temporarily committed to him but are not legally bound to support him if he continues to run downhill over the summer.

Post-purchase anxiety may cause Democrats to wonder just who they have nominated. Obama’s flacks can talk all they want about history. But history teaches us that “historic” candidates often lose.

Will Hillary be offered the Vice President’s slot? Can’t say. Would she accept? I think she would. Is Obama going to have it easy now that he is the nominee? Not on your life. The pincer movement has just begun. And it is going to pinch.

Better order a Hillary nutcracker before they go out of stock. You may still need it. Walnuts anyone?

Chicago's Number One Internet columnist, broadcaster and media critic, Andy Martin, is the Executive Editor and publisher of © Copyright by Andy Martin 2008. Martin covers regional, national and world events with more than forty years of experience. He is a chronicler of all things Midwestern and the authentic Voice of Middle America. Andy’s new book, Obama: The Man Behind the Mask, goes on sale in June. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law. He has been a candidate for U. S. Senator from Illinois and Florida. Comments? E-mail: Media contact: (866) 706-2639. Columns also posted at;


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