Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Obama Can Celebrate All He Wants

Once Kentucky and Oregon's votes are counted tonight, it is virtually assured that Barack Obama will have the majority of pledged delegates, representing the voters in the Democratic primary. At one point that count mattered most to both candidates, but one has continued to push the goalposts to all ends of the field to make their campaign look viable. Now Obama wants to celebrate that achievement in Iowa tonight and the Clinton camp is showing their bruised egos and complaining about it.

From The Washington Post:

Obama is favored to win the Oregon primary today, and Clinton is an even stronger favorite to win the Kentucky contest. But Obama will not celebrate primary night in either of those states. Instead, he has chosen to be in Iowa, where his victory in the caucuses in January turned the Democratic race upside down. There, at a rally in Des Moines, he is expected to declare that he has secured a majority of the pledged delegates currently eligible to attend August's Democratic convention in Denver.

Obama and his advisers insist the event will stop short of a declaration that he has won the nomination. But it will be seen as another signal to superdelegates to climb aboard his bandwagon as quickly as possible.

The celebration, however, has rankled the Clinton campaign and the candidate herself. They see it as a highhanded effort to embarrass her and to generate renewed calls from others in the party for her to quit the race before anyone has achieved a genuine majority of pledged delegates and superdelegates.

In a signal of how fragile the detente between the two sides is, the Clinton campaign sent out a tart memo yesterday under the name of communications director Howard Wolfson calling the Obama rally in Iowa "a slap in the face of millions of voters in the remaining primary states and to Senator Clinton's 17 million supporters." Then, in language tying the Obama campaign to the Bush White House, the memo continues: "Premature victory laps and false declarations of victory are unwarranted. Declaring mission accomplished does not make it so."

Ouch, Wolfson needs to cool those defensive jets of his. There have been many a Clinton celebration during this primary season where it was not warranted. I understand that they have been through a lot over there but Obama is not calling for her to drop out even though she fell through that floor a long time ago. George Bush comparisons are also out of line. There is no slap in the face to the voters from Obama, the voters have spoken for the most part and have decided to go with him.

Hillary Clinton and her loyal band of supporters may be hurt that she couldn't win the nomination, but now it is time to learn a little humility and accept that the majority of voters in this primary have sided with Barack Obama.