Saturday, March 08, 2008

Clinton/Obama Tag Team Against McCain

I was hoping that Senator Obama would score a decisive victory over Senator Clinton in Texas and Ohio. We can't afford a continued Democratic nominating process that might weaken the eventual Democratic nominee. Too many times I’ve watched Democrats nominate qualified candidates only to have them trounced in the general election by a Republic.

The past eight years have made it clear.

  • The American voter doesn’t know a qualified candidate from an unqualified candidate.
  • The country can’t afford another president like Bush (John W. McCain is just Bush Heavy).
  • It is the responsibility of the Democrats to nominate a candidate that can win. Whether or not that candidate is the most qualified is not important.

With that in mind, I propose that Clinton and Obama make a pact and take a pledge.

Clinton and Obama should pledge that for the rest of the nominating process they will treat Senator McCain as the opponent, not their fellow Democrat. Democrats fear that the during the next few weeks, in their attempt to secure the nomination, Obama and Clinton will damage each other and make it easier for McCain to defeat them in the general election. Since, for the Democrats, it should really be a contest about who can beat McCain, start the general election campaign now. It would be two candidates (and campaign treasuries) against one. Obama and Clinton should make their case to Democratic primary voters by showing which one will be the best at beating John McCain. To paraphrase McCain, they should each realize that for the sake of the country, it would be better for either of them to lose the nomination than for a Republic to be elected president.

Michigan and Florida need to schedule primaries. Those voters plus Pennsylvania would be judging which candidate is better against McCain. Even if the voters don’t follow the script, we would have weeks of tag team effort and massive campaign funds to use against McCain. Obama and Clinton can highlight their differences, but do nothing to attack or weaken their Democratic opponent. If the Democrats stay united, they will have significantly weakened support for McCain and made the true general campaign, no matter which candidate is nominated, much easier.

Obama and Clinton should also pledge that the losing candidate will whole heartedly continue to vigorously campaign and raise money for the winning candidate. It would be their responsibility to deliver their supporters to the Democratic nominee. This should be a team effort all the way through Election Day in November.

Michigan and Florida must be primaries, not caucuses. While Obama may do better in a caucus, this is a test for electability in the general election. New elections in Michigan and Florida are just a matter of money.

In a country that abhors rewarding law breakers, it may seem unfair to give Michigan and Florida such power after they ignored party rules, but the blame should go to party and elected officials, not voters. Besides, Democrats should focus on winning not retribution. One way to appropriately punish Michigan and Florida would be to require that all delegates from those states be new people. Florida and Michigan would have to come up with new slates of delegates and any super delegates that owe their credentials to association with these states would have these credentials revoked.

Democrats need to stay focused. This is not about Clinton or Obama. It is about putting a Democrat in the White House in January, 2009!

No comments: