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?