Ed. note: Sorry for not updating in a while. My life of the past few weeks has been plagued by “finals,” a terribly debilitating disease caused by frequently attending college. But I have since been relieved of this disease, and I will try to update this blog at least once a week, if not more frequently.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Hillary Clinton is not doing so well these days. Political-wise, I mean. With a large defeat in North Carolina, and a big-but-not-big-enough victory in Indiana, her fate was basically, mathematically, realistically sealed as the “runner-up.” This is tough for me to admit. I’ve got a lot invested in this race (most notably, shamefully, my pride and stubbornness), and I don’t like to admit defeat. Neither does Hillary, clearly. Because even though, barring something extraordinary, she will not win the Democratic nomination, she keeps plodding on, vowing to stay in the race until Convention.
As I’ve mentioned before, I have no problem with Hillary staying in the race. I tend to think the spread-out system of primaries and caucuses, while making sense from the perspective of a candidate, doesn’t make sense from the perspective of democracy. John Kerry’s nomination–the fabulous success that that was–was practically wrapped up within the first few primaries in the 2004 election. This method leaves a huge chunk of the electorate: Super Tuesday states like New York and California and Massachusetts and Ohio, as well as later states including Florida and Pennsylvania, with votes that are basically worthless. John Edwards withdrew after failing to win a single state on Super Tuesday, leaving John Kerry as the presumptive nominee.
Hillary Clinton staying in the race, therefore, allows voters in all states, including those with primaries in May or June such as Oregon, North Carolina, and Kentucky, have a voice in the nominating process. Even if “bringing democracy” to every state is not her main intention, it certainly works. And while admitting that she remains in the race just in case Obama gets assassinated (a la Bobby Kennedy, as she suggested a few days ago) seriously toes the line of tactfulness, it isn’t entirely unreasonable to stay in “just in case” something unexpected happens.
That said, however, I have come to terms with the fact that she will probably not win. Indeed, with the Bobby Kennedy comment, as well as her almost-race-baiting suggestions about white people not liking Obama, and her assertions about her lack of faith in “experts,” have seriously frustrated and disenchanted me with her over the past few weeks. I’ve subtly removed myself from her “fans” on Facebook, and noted the end of my internship with her campaign as February, when California voted.
So I’ve moved on. I’m not going to go around waving a white flag to Obama supporters (a.k.a. most of my friends and almost all of my fellow College Democrats), but I’ve stopped supporting her campaign. I won’t jump on the Obama train until it’s made official in June, when it becomes more about the party and less about the candidate, but I do expect to work very hard to make sure he gets elected.
This is in addition, of course, to fighting the gay marriage amendment. Since the California Supreme Court cited the Equal Protection Clause in the CA Constitution as reason for allowing gay and lesbian couples around the state to get married, it has become a major issue in state politics. Protect Marriage, a coalition of religious groups, has gathered over a million signatures in order to get a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage on the ballot in November. I have always been a strong advocate of gay marriage and will be doing everything I can to fight that amendment, starting hopefully with getting an internship at Equality California in San Francisco. Add that to the Obama campaign and, oh yeah, my 32-hour-a-week job, and I have a packed summer ahead of me.
I guess this blog post is therefore more about me than Hillary Clinton. It worked out well that Hillary’s campaign is flailing just as my support is weakening, because it means I don’t have to entirely denounce her and can instead move on to the next thing. My only hope is that the next campaigns I’m on– those of a presidential candidate and an amendment that threatens civil rights– are more successful, because now it matters more than ever.