28 May, 2008

When Will Hillary Drop Out?

Not before the convention. Barack Obama (D-IL) can't make the magic number he needs, so why should Hillary Clinton (D-NY) drop out?

I first floated the idea of this almost a week ago, and as I have had time to think about it more, I've decided that it bears more consideration.

The media has been telling us for months that the magic number to reach the Democratic nomination is 2025 (2026 due to recent elections), and completely ignoring the 2209 (2210) number that would be necessary if Florida and Michigan were seated in full.

As Harold Ickes has said:

2210 is the high mark,” he said — referring to the number of delegates needed if the Michigan and Florida delegations are seated fully — “and it appears 2026 is the low mark. But that low mark is no longer in my view a reasonable number to even talk about.

He's absolutely correct.

However, I think most people would say the same about 2210, and tell you that the real number is somewhere in the middle.

The options are:

  1. Do not seat Florida or Michigan.
  2. Split the Florida and Michigan pledged delegations 50/50. Superdelegates are free to vote as they wish. (The list of Florida and Michigan superdelegates)
  3. Florida and Michigan hold new elections. (3/17 - Florida has announced they will not hold a new election as did Michigan on 3/19)
  4. Split Michigan 50/50 including supers. Give Florida pledged delegates 1/2 vote, but based on January election. 1/2 vote for superdelegates also. This is supposedly under significant discussion.
  5. Seat them based on the elections that have taken place. Give Obama the 55 Michigan uncommitted delegates.
  6. Seat them based on the elections that have taken place. Don't assume Obama gets the 55 Michigan uncommitted delegates.

We are not endorsing any of these options. We're just providing information so our readers can judge how each option will affect the race.
Note: Many readers have asked why we continue to include options 5 and 6 in this post, and why we include option 6 in our sidebar. It's because politics is a strange business, and you never know what might happen in the future.

Allow me to be the first to officially move into the 2210 camp. I now believe that is the only number worth discussing.

Why? Lawsuits.

Florida has already started the process to sue the DNC to have their delegates seated in full at the convention. You'd be naive to assume that Michigan will not follow suit.

So, we can discount options 1, 2, 3, and 4 immediately. That leaves:

  • Seat them based on the elections that have taken place. Give Obama the 55 Michigan uncommitted delegates.
  • Seat them based on the elections that have taken place. Don't assume Obama gets the 55 Michigan uncommitted delegates.

Ah, but giving Obama the 55 Michigan uncommitted delegates would be overturning the results of their "election". Under the same law that Florida Dems are using in the basis for their lawsuit, the DNC can't do that either.

That leaves option 6 as the only viable possibility. So, the number is 2210 and Obama needs 133 to get there, a number that seems virtually impossible to reach by June 3, the date of the last Democratic primary.

What will happen between June and August? Well, Howard Dean will push any uncommitted supers to commit. However, it seems unlikely that that will work better than it has so far. Obama will pick up a few, but probably not many. If you're a super and you haven't committed by June 4, what incentive is there for you to commit before you absolutely have to?

This battle is going to the convention folks...

The FairTax and Economic Growth

Great blog post on what we can expect our economy to do when we adopt the FairTax.

I'll just give you the money quote.  But read the whole thing.

Our economy would be almost three times larger in 2082 if we average 3.5% growth than it would be if growth averaged 2.0%. The “present value” of our GDP over the 75-year period would be more than 70% larger. The implications of this difference are staggering

Congress: Raising Your Gas Prices Since 1976

Last week, our hardworking Congress grilled Oil Executives on the high cost of gasoline.

Before I make my main point, I'd like to point out this graph:

The red line is the price of crude oil, and the blue line is the price of gasoline. Notice that the blue line hasn't been rising nearly as fast as the red line.

In spite of this, I do think Congress should be asking some tough questions about the price of gasoline and crude oil.

And since the Oil execs are there, here's some questions they could ask.

  • Why haven't you done any new drilling in Alaska?
  • Why haven't you done any new drilling off the coast of California?
  • Why haven't you done any new drilling off the coast of Florida?
  • Why haven't you done any new drilling in the Gulf of Mexico?
  • Why haven't you built any new refineries in the last 33 years?
  • Why haven't you done any exploration into the shale oil deposits in Colorado? Are you aware that there's more oil there than in the Persian Gulf?

However, Congress won't ask any of these questions, because they already know the answers and don't want you to know them.

The Democratic "Dream Ticket"

Should Barack Obama (D-IL) select Hillary Clinton (D-NY) as his running mate? Tigerhawk gives a resounding "no", and I totally agree.

As he says:

The Clintons are too powerful to control, too ambitious to control themselves, and too untrustworthy to appease.

Also, there's a long-standing rule of thumb in Presidential politics. Never pick a VP candidate that will upstage you. Yes, I know John Kerry (D-MA) forgot that rule, but John Kerry forgot a lot of things, including where he was in Christmas of 1968 and who was President then.

And lets not kid ourselves, while Obama is certainly charismatic and the media loves him, the Clintons are a media force (some might say a media force in the wrong direction, but that's a point for another post), and will often take the spotlight away from Obama. This is not something that Obama can afford.

And she's not going to help him on the ticket. Republicans hate her. Democratic chances this year depend upon limited conservative enthusiasm, much like 2006. He doesn't want to doa anything to get the conservatives motivated. Having Hillary on the ticket might just do that.

Also, he's already going to win Illinois and New York (probably). The only upside of her being on the ticket is the "reunification of the Democratic party", which is a big upside, but doesn't outweigh the downsides, in my opinion.