This has to be filed under the "Are You Kidding?" and "I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes," headings.
The news manufacturers and political power brokers at the Associated Press decided on Tuesday, June 3, 2008, that they had waited long enough for the Democratic Party to anoint Barack Hussein Obama as the next president of the United States. It didn't appear he could convince sufficient voters to give him the go ahead, so the AP czars up and did it themselves.
There is a process by which the Democratic Party votes through primaries to select its nominee at a national convention in August. In this process each state holds a primary vote, and based on how much of that vote the candidates receive, a corresponding number of both committed and uncommitted delegates are assigned to each.
But the AP leap-frogged over this process and named Obama the nominee without voter approval.
Based on delegates allotted to each state, the winning nominee this year needed at least 2119 committed - pledged - delegates to ensure victory on the first round of voting at the convention. The uncommitted delegates, or super delegates as the Democrats call them, are gravy in a sense, because even though they can vote any way they want, they usually go with the strongest candidate. So if you lock in the nomination with pledged delegates the unpledged delegates just increase your margin of victory.
But if no candidate received the 2119 committed delegates by the time the primaries were over, which in fact no one did, then the party would have to wait until the convention vote to determine the nominee. Until noon Tuesday, that appeared to be the case.
Obama was ahead of Hillary Clinton in the delegate count, but not the popular vote, and of major importance, did not receive sufficient committed or pledged delegates to automatically win the nomination at the convention. He would need the super delegates to vote for him in large enough numbers to overcome the deficit in pledged delegates. But you can't be absolutely sure of the super delegate votes until they are cast at the convention.
That was the case Tuesday morning going into the last two democratic primaries in Montana and South Dakota. That was the case Tuesday night after the two primaries. Even if he received all of the pledged delegates in both of those states it would not have given Obama the requisite number of pledged delegates. There weren't enough and he was too far from the magic number.
In addition, Hillary did receive some votes from Montana and South Dakota, roughly half of the total. She fared far better than Obama in South Dakota, but he won Montana by roughly the same margin.
So by the end of the day, neither had really improved one way or another. But that became irrelevant by 11 a.m., Tuesday, when the AP declared Obama the winner even though voting was barely underway and several hours were left until the polls closed in both states.
How did the AP decide Obama was the winner? He told them he was!
I am not kidding! Fox News began broadcasting the AP pronouncement and the accompanying story that Hillary Clinton was conceding the race, literally as fast as the AP reporters could type. One Fox broadcaster was reading the AP story line-by- line as it was coming across the wires.
But the Hillary concession crappola was dead wrong, and no sooner had the media begun broadcasting it than retractions began to follow as the Clinton camp denied its accuracy.
By late afternoon however, the media was still declaring that Obama had sufficient votes. The explanation was that 1.) He had nearly enough pledged delegates; 2.) He had public promises from unpledged super delegates that brought him even closer; and 3.) other super delegates had told him privately that they wold vote for him.
I swear to God that is what Fox News broadcast as the reason why Obama is now being hailed as the Messiah! He told them he was, and that is that!
I wonder, if I told the AP that I owned the Brooklyn Bridge, and I was going to sell it, would that organization pony up a couple million down payment? Would Fox join in the bidding?
Same principle folks.
This is beyond absurd. This smacks of election tampering and voter fraud. Who declared the AP the sole arbiter of election law in the US? Where did that organization get off declaring a winner, when in fact the real winner won't be decided until August?
That bunch of liars was saying that Hillary Clinton was going to ask to be Obama's vice presidential nominee, that she was going to concede the election, that she was out, etc. But Tuesday night, she appeared before her supporters and said the exact opposite.
I can't believe I heard one of Fox News' stable of "pundits" bitching late Wednesday afternoon that by refusing to concede an election she hasn't lost, Hillary Clinton stole Obama's moment. Oh, and whoever is advising her is "stupid." Last I heard, Terry McAuliffe was advising her and I would love to see a cage match between him and the Fox guy who called him stupid.
The fact is, Obama is not the undisputed Democratic nominee and could conceivably get knocked right out of the box between now and August if something we don't know about him surfaces. He is acting like this is all sewn up, but that isn't necessarily so.
The truth is that Obama never got the minimal number of pledged delegates to guarantee the nomination on the first ballot and even if every single unpledged delegate says today that they will vote for him in August, that is not a done deal until it occurs. A lot can happen in three months.
This is a despicable example of media manipulation and an intrusion on the democratic process. It wasn't just the AP. Every major news organization ran to this story and ran with it as though it was fact, with no one telling the truth. The headlines today on the Internet were even worse - gushing about the "whole world" is just so happy Obama has been nominated.
Why? What does the "whole world" have at stake here?
This was not news. This was propaganda. It was propaganda on a scale that Joseph Stalin used in the Soviet Union to impose communism on the populace and it was every bit as dirty.
There may be some overall grand strategy in this, but I don't care. The First Amendment exists to protect freedom of speech and the press, but the press is showing that it considers the Constitution a Get Out of Jail Free card.
Hillary Clinton is steering people to her website apparently to raise money to pay off her campaign debt while she contemplates her next move. That is her right, and considering that 18 million people voted for her, it is her duty.
Maybe she should also contemplate filing a suit against the media. She can start with an election tampering claim against the AP see what evolves from there.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008