Almost Doesn’t Count

Here’s what I keep hearing from my friends here in Miami, about Hillary Clinton’s win in the Florida primary — “but that vote doesn’t actually count for anything, right?” And, “if I thought it was gonna mean something, I would have definitely made an effort to vote.”

Florida was stripped of all of its delegates by the DNC because the state wanted to move its primary forward from February, right? So I’m confused — does this victory count for the Clintons, or not? Was this just the symbolic election we were led to think it would be? Is this just a way to steal the big Kennedy-endorsement thunder from the Obama campaign? Or does it really mean that the Obama candidacy isn’t as secure as we might want to believe?

Clinton is quoted as saying, “I could not come here in person to ask you for your votes, but I am here to thank you for your votes today. This has been a record turnout because Floridians wanted their voices to be heard. I promise you I will do everything I can to make sure not only are Florida’s Democratic delegates seated but Florida is in the winning column for the Democrats in 2008.” According to that article, the eventual nominee will likely try to reverse the Democratic National Committee’s punishment and seat delegates from Florida and Michigan. What? Really? How can you change the rules of the game after the fact? I personally know a whole lotta people who would be righteously pissed if that happens.

The headline on the Times Online reads: “Hillary Clinton hails victory as Barack Obama cries spin.” Democrat Rep. Alcee Hastings was quoted on MSNBC as saying, “”Someone said that our vote doesn’t count. Our votes counted in 2000; our votes counted in 2004. They counted yesterday, today, and they will count in November when we elect Hillary Clinton President of the United States.” Um, the contested and controversial elections of 2000 and 2004 aren’t the kind of results I’d imagine anyone in Florida wants to remind America about. It wasn’t a good look for the Sunshine State. Just saying.

I don’t like the ugliness of politics on my best day, and this campaign already feels too personal. Too hot under the collar. Just because I’m backing Barack doesn’t mean that I automatically despise the Billarites and everything they stand for. Ostensibly, we’re supposed to be standing for the same thing, right? Kind of?

I saw Maya Angelou disrespected for her political choice on a super popular gossip site yesterday, and it made me sad. Not that Maya Angelou is referring to Hillary as “her girl,” but that her decision to lend her instantly recognizable and powerful voice to the Clinton campaign has caused many young voters to instantly dismiss all of the wisdom and experience and elegance and class she has always exuded. To explain away her point of view as that of an old, out of touch woman, or even worse, a “house negro”. People, it’s MAYA ANGELOU. An elder stateswoman who deserves our respect. So I respectfully disagree with Ms. Angelou, and I think the emotions uncovered by her decision reveals how personally people are taking this upcoming election. It also reveals, in my opinion, what many pundits have been saying for a long time — Hillary Clinton is a polarizing figure in politics. You’re either with her 100%, or totally against her. Even within her own party. That worries me, as someone who genuinely wants to see the Republicans unseated this November.

If Hillary does become the Democratic nominee, can she beat the Republican nominee? I am not sure about that. But by the same measure, can Barack? Breaking news from the AP — John Edwards is dropping out.
What does this all mean? What do you think?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Comments

  1. John Edwards is quitting the race Bella!

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/01/30/edwards/index.html

    Obama/Edwards 08????????? Please? Pretty Please!!!

    As for HRC’s Florida “victory” – can you imagine if Barack were in her shoes? A resounding loss in SC and then breaking the rules to have “fundraisers” and not “campaign” in a state stripped of its delegates – and then celebrate with a “victory” speech? Everyone would say he’s nuts!

    I have read everywhere that about 30% of Floridians VOTED LAST MONTH via absentee ballot! Obama won late-breaking (post SC/Kennedy endorsement) voters.

    http://www.thedailybackground.com/2008/01/29/tdb-factsheet-despite-clintons-claims-outside-observers-agree-fl-primary-wont-matter-for-democrats/

  2. I know! Fingers crossed. Edwards isn’t going to endorse anyone yet, but I am sincerely hoping for one choice. You already know.

    I have a great deal of respect for John Edwards, and some of that is based on the fact that Brian, a friend I’ve known for years, has been diligently working behind the scenes on his campaign. Brian is a man of integrity and I know he wouldn’t throw his support behind someone he didn’t believe in 100% for the right reasons. So my reasons for wanting an Obama/Edwards campaign goes deeper than just the fact that they seem like a good matchup. I sincerely believe they could be an unstoppable ticket.

  3. It’s sad that Edwards is throwing in the towel. Listening to cnn or one of the news channels this morning, it was predicted that most of his supporters will end up switching to the Clinton camp.I love Obama and really hopes he wins, but in the event that he does not and hilary gets the nomination, I’ll vote for Hilary(even though, she’s not one of my favorites) I cannot imagine another four years of a republican government argh!So I feel instead of just laeving the choice of who the president will be to other people, I’ll have to vote for Clinton

  4. It is spin. Florida did not have an official primary.

    If McCain is the nominee Hillary will lose unless there is a miracle. She is too polarizing.

    I agree with you Bella. It’s not as if Maya pulled a Bob Johnson.

  5. I’m just waiting to see what happens on Super Duper Tuesday. Everybody is assuming that people will automatically cast their vote for Clinton since Edwards has dropped out of the race, but I think some of those votes will be cast for Obama. It’s not over until the fat lady sings. Florida was just a popularity contest for now. They voted, but it will not count this time…better luck next time. Voting counts even when it doesn’t count. The important thing is that YOU voted. I can really see the Change Movement actually bringing all Democrats together instead of continuing the current division. Hillary is a polarizing figure who has that extra baggage known as former President Bill Clinton tagging along for her bid to become President and that scares me because he has already shown us that he can be a loose cannon. I respect Maya Angelou endorsing Hillary because we all have the right to our own personal opinion. Hillary just doesn’t cut it for me, and I will have to do some serious praying, soul searching, etc. to figure out who I’ll vote for if Barack is not the Democratic nominee for President.

  6. Afternoon Bella! I like the passion of politics and beauty, you do it well. Regarding your post, I still don’t quite know how I feel about either Barack or Hillary. For me there’s a big gap between what I want to see done in this, what they say they’ll do, what they’ll face if elected to that seat of power and then what will be necessary. The times we’re kind of blindly strolling into as citizens freaks me the hell out. And then we have politics at heart, this rabid animal that eats its babies alive. I think it is what it is and I think they’ll say what they want to say. All that I know about Barack Obama is perception, and that’s just surface to me, at this point with him it’s a faith initiative, it’s really the audacity of my hope that President Obama is not just the man of the hour, but the president for the times. With Hillary it’s just who she is that I appreciate for better or worse. The things that come up with her on the so-called news are hair issues, clothing choices, too strong, not funny, and the dreaded “polarizing” (does this word have her face next to it in the dictionary, come on now, the very structure of our political parties and agenda is polarizing). If you’re a democrat then of course you think and feel this way and vise versa. I think her real problem is she’s been accused so much of not being the kind of woman she needed to be at any given stage of her life (personal and political) that she’ll never quite fit the bill (pun intended). I think she’s every woman and that’s cool. How do we know she didn’t run the Clinton white house that so many (in our community) used to love unwaveringly back in the day. How fickle are we. There’s always the question of electability, for some people that will be the aura of power surrounding the person, it will be the name, it will be a look, or even that perfectly phrased poll question and its results. Of course those are shallow qualifiers, but there you go. Do we have to like a president for them to be a good president, do we have to like every decision, understand it even, or is it a big picture that sums up all the parts (good and bad). This electoral process as you say isn’t pretty. It’s a crap shoot for all involved. The only integrity for them seems to be if this strategy works, let’s go with it. I think if Hillary is elected she could win. I think Barack could very well do the same. The audacity of hope exists for me with either. I think especially in this space you’ve created where anyone can be who they want, the non-qualifiers are those who refuse to embrace who they are and what they stand for and vote on that.

    And on the disrespect thrown Ms. Angelou’s way, it was a low point. I think I literally felt physically sick, because in any number of ways, the fact that I check out this site makes me culpable. Maybe we could all stand to check ourselves. Lord help us through this process.

  7. All those that are hoping for Edwards to be Obama running mate are more than short sighted! A black man and white female Kennedy will be the key to bringing down any Repub in the general election…Clinton would loose all steam and drop out if this happened…Caroline Kennedy should be the running mate to Obama and I have heard this spoken about on Obamas website too…people are talking about it!

  8. I hope Obama wins!

  9. Ahh…the Clintons, up to their dirty tricks again. The DNC penalized the Florida Democrat party by stripping it of its delegates because they moved the primary up. Subsequently, all of the Democrat candidates backed (and signed on) to an agreement that out of respect for that decision, that they would not campaign in Florida. Hillary Clinton went back on her word (surprise, surprise)and campaigned, I mean, “fund-raised” anyway. Then throws herself a “victory” party. The Clintons always have and always will do things their way. They are underhanded, greedy people motivated by the lust for power. Bill Clinton has been showing his true colors with the comments that he’s been making about Senator Obama over the last few weeks an IMHO, Hillary is as transparent as a picture window. But hey, if America is stupid enough to elect her, so be it.

  10. “If McCain is the nominee Hillary will lose unless there is a miracle. She is too polarizing.”

    I completely agree with you nyc! I believe this election the Democrats to lose and they’d be THROWING IT AWAY if Clinton goes head to head against McCain. If would only make sense for the Dems to nominate someone who could receive votes from moderates and independents…and that is Obama, NOT Clinton.

    I also think Obama/Edwards would be a HOT ticket…a WINNING ticket. I am 100% sure that Edwards will NOT endorse Clinton. The question is when, if he will endorse Obama. Even in some of the debates, you saw Edwards align himself with Obama and distance himself from Clinton, calling her the “forces of status quo”!

    To kww: Obama and a white female on a ticket will NOT win. That is too much “newness” at once for this country. If Obama wants a fighting chance in the general, he’ll have to nominate a white male.

    To Tycajam: Trust your heart and your gut. Vote for the person you think is the best to lead this country to better times. As an Obama supporter, I would encourage you to visit his website http://www.barackobama.com and learn more about him and his positions. I’d also encourage you to watch videos on his YouTube channel…you would learn a lot about him that way! http://www.youtube.com/barackobama
    He’s really a remarkable person with a clear vision to lead this country!

  11. whenever i think of maya angelou i think of her reading her poem at the inauguration. i was in college and clinton was my first vote. as an english major i was amazed that there was a poem being read. odd poem but it sounded great. so i think of that moment but then i think of how disappointing bill became — appointing all those fabulous women and then abandoning them when things got hot. i don’t care who maya angelou endorses. she makes greeting cards. she writes poems. she has a regal bearing. she teaches english. toni morrison endorsed obama. she writes freaky novels that are hard to understand. i don’t care. just ways to build the images of the particular candidates. let’s say louis armstrong went for the clintons. then miles davis would go for obama.
    now when bob kennedy’s wife says obama reminds me of my husband, that’s very, very interesting. i don’t know what it means exactly but it’s worth trying to unravel.

    @nyccarib by bob johnson, you mean the guy that pulled turncoat on Shirley Chisholm?

    there’s a good new yorker essay about the way that clinton and obama represent different ideas of what the presidency is/how it works. clinton work-a-day and obama – vision/motivator.

    i agree that an obama/caroline kennedy doesn’t make any sense. it is an attractive idea but i don’t see that. probably obama/edwards. or i guess he could pull somebody out of nowhere. i thought the angling during debates where edwards aligned himself with obama was either to take votes or to begin building the ticket. he’s just one of those men who seems like the younger brother, the vice president, the son not the father. obama is more zeus.

  12. bella, do you have any comment on obama’s eye make-up. sometimes his eyes seem shaded a bit.

    i noticed that mrs. obama didn’t wear lipstick today. saw her in an interview. she looked great. a little eyeliner, light shadow in the browns and nude lips.

    i hope they win if only so that, despite mrs. obama’s do, black beauty will be normalized and diversified. doesn’t it have to be?

  13. Bella, I just blogged about the BTSNBN (blog that shall not be named) and their antics. I am disgusted that they would disrespect her like that and then try to play us for fools by telling us they weren’t calling her a ho. Whateva! Would Obama want that kind of support? I won’t blog in your comments. I say enough on my page! LOL!

    You and I are in agreement. While I’m an Obama Mama, I am not going to disrespect any Billary supporters. You’re right, in the end, we all want a Dem up there getting sworn in. So we need to decide who the electable candidate is that CAN win against those crooks that stole the last election.
    I would love an Obama/Edwards ticket since I actually closely aligned with Edwards views.

    OMG!!! In the middle of typing this comment, I just noticed you added me to your Blogroll! That means a LOT, Bella. Thank you :)

  14. Oooh, Vivrant Thang, you let it all out! I totally feel you. It takes me a lot longer to respond to stuff like that because the outrage just bubbles out of me, but I love the urgent honesty of your response. And I LOVE your blog!!!! Smart, funny, real. I’m working on an Ask Afrobella on how to be a blogger, and I will definitely include your link in that.
    keep up the amazing work!

  15. Gotta agree with Vivrant Thang.

    Maya Angelou exercises her right to choose the candidate of her choosing, who in this case happens to be Clinton, and that makes her (Clinton) divisive?

    I have a policy of not coming on other brown bloggers blogs to take issue with them about their presidential candidate, even if their candidate is a Republican! I’m just happy to see everyone excited about the race. But I can’t help wonder where we get the notion that Clinton is the one who is divisive and Obama is unifying. And the folks who keep up this talk are the folks who keep saying that they want unity!!

    Let’s unite by celebrating the fact that we’re the first generation to witnesses a time in history when a woman and a black have a real shot at the presidency.

  16. I was over at Vivrant’s blog, and I saw the Maya Angelou dis post. That’s kinda sad but it’s shows the direction most people have chosen to take it. Oh well, they will be okay.

    I wonder if John Edwards will endorse Barack Obama or Billary CLinton.

  17. To those who disrespected Maya Angelou, it doesn’t matter who’s Obama’s opponent is, it’s that a black person is supporting someone else besides Obama, the black candidate. Maxine Waters is now being called a sell out and not many can begin to match her committment and contributions over the years. Just goes to show that Barack’s candidacy is as uniting as so many of his supporters claim it is. It’s not Hillary being divisive, it’s moreso Obama’s supporters. Many have decided, if she wins the nomination, they still won’t vote for her on the democratic ticket — talk of chopping off one’s nose to spite one’s face.

    Interestingly, these same “pro got to vote for black man” people have all but ignored the other black candidate. So, it’s not about race only, it’s about one’s politics, as well.

  18. My2Cents-
    Wow. That’s troubling. I believe in standing up for what you believe in, but I DO NOT believe in tearing others down because they don’t share your views. Any black people who aren’t behind Obama are NOT sellouts. Should all females feel obligated to vote for Hillary? No. Should all Mormons feel obligated for Romney? No. Should all physicians feel obligated to vote for Ron Paul? No. Should all veterans feel obligated to vote for John McCain? No. It’s obvious how ridiculous this sounds. People should vote for the PERSON who they believe is the best to lead this nation. I’m absolutely disgusted by insulting acts such as those, and I know Sen. Obama would be too.

  19. Can I just say….Wow! Good stuff.

  20. Hi there! I understand this is kind of off-topic however I needed to ask.
    Does operating a well-established blog like yours take a lot of work?
    I’m completely new to operating a blog but I do write in my diary on a daily basis.
    I’d like to start a blog so I will be able to share my personal experience and views
    online. Please let me know if you have any
    kind of suggestions or tips for new aspiring blog owners.

    Appreciate it!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Afrobella – Almost Doesn’t Count Florida was stripped of all of its delegates by the DNC because the state wanted to move its primary forward from February, right? So I’m confused — does this victory count for the Clintons, or not? Was this just the symbolic election we were led to think it would be? Is this just a way to steal the big Kennedy-endorsement thunder from the Obama campaign? Or does it really mean that the Obama candidacy isn’t as secure as we might want to believe? [...]

  2. [...] Also, check out Afrobella’s commentary. She’s much more eloquent in her disapproval. Ya’ll know how I do. [...]

Speak Your Mind

*