There is little question that Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic primary in New York on February 5th. Having a homefield advantage is helpful in that endeavor, no question, as is the united support of a legion of party hacks dreaming dreams of personal advancement to perches in the Washington bureaucracy.
However, the New York Sun points out that the race in the five boroughs itself is far closer than in the rest of the state.
A WNBC/Marist poll released last week found that although Mrs. Clinton had a 47% to 31% lead over Mr. Obama among likely New York State voters, he was far closer in New York City, drawing 39% of likely voters versus 43% for Senator Clinton. In recent weeks, Mr. Obama's support has been surging among black voters, a demographic he won 4 to 1 in South Carolina, according to exit polls, and whose turnout and support would likely be crucial in New York City.
It's difficult not to notice an enthusiasm differential between the Clinton and Obama camps; the latter is represented, it seems to the casual observer, at every subway stop in the greater metropolitan area, while the former seems to expect the various machines to pull in its votes - as they no doubt will.
Take, for example, this small example: you could have, if you were thusly inclined, spent some time in Chappaqua this morning with Obama volunteers. That's enthusiasm.
As you may have become aware, we have an election coming up in this most woefully misgoverned State in the Union. In a rare occurrence, New Yorkers have the ability to cast a meaningful vote in a contested Democratic primary, a novel experience in a state where the Democratic Party usually doesn't offer up much by the way of choices. Nor do we, in the normal course of events, get to do more than ratify the choice made by other states; this time, things are different.
There are several candidates running in this Presidential primary. First, obviously, there is Hillary Clinton, New York's junior Senator and former First Lady of the United States. Senator Clinton is an accomplished legislator, whom many of her constituents know as a provider of excellent constituent services, a wonk's wonk, a supremely intelligent and able political animal, with a depth of experience that bodes well for a possible Clinton administration. She is also, significantly, the first viable female Presidential candidate.
Then, there is John Edwards, the former Senator from North Carolina, who has made the class struggle his issue. This is good and worthwhile, even noble; but Senator Edwards' message has simply not resonated with the electorate to a degree that he can be said to have a realistic shot at the nomination. Americans tend not to vote for people who ask us to think about things we'd rather not think about, and more's the pity.
And then, there is Barack Obama, the junior Senator from Illinois. The Daily Gotham endorses Barack Obama, for a number of reasons. read more »
By now, those who have been following my columns on these here blogs are already aware that I swim against the current a lot; so this prediction will be no surprise to many. Over the years I have made some gutsy calls on many levels; my success rate is high (but not perfect/lol). I am predicting that Barack Obama will win the Iowa caucuses on January 3rd, next year. I also predict that it wonâ€™t even be close.
Look, before you read too much into my prediction, let me be clear: I am not predicting (as yet/ and maybe never) that he will be the presidential nominee for the democrats in 2008; neither am I predicting at this time that he will win the New Hampshire primary a few days after Iowa. All I am saying is that he will handily become the Iowa caucus choice. And yes, I do hope that he wins the democratâ€™s nomination on his way to the winning the presidency; but in terms of thinking: thatâ€™s more wishful than cerebral.
Right now, I will not expound beyond this: there are dynamic things taking place on the ground in Iowa that will be revealed over the next six weeks. An Obama victory will be surprising to many; even to some of those who support him now. What happens after Iowa is still befuddling to me; at the azimuth of my crystal ball there are ominous clouds that I canâ€™t fathom. It troubles me to think that race (racism) will eventually play a role- larger than itâ€™s already playing- in this presidential contest. This causes me great concern. read more »
Another day, another opportunity for Democrats to spit in the face of gay and lesbian Americans, take a deep breath, and spit again.
This time, it's Barack Obama, Senator of Illinois and currently a candidate for President. The good Senator is the beneficiary of a benefit concert featuring yet another notorious anti-gay bigot, one Donnie McClurkin; the latter, apparently not free of the taint of being that way himself, claims to have been cured by God and is now out there, preaching against his fellows and in that sense, himself.
And Obama is set to make money off it. That's not quite the egregious stab in the back of the Clintonian Don't Ask Don't Tell or the Defense of Marriage Act, but it's very, very bad. John Aravosis calls it despicable.
But at least, in his defense, Obama only supports putting this guy on a stage and making money off of his performance there. As these things go, that's not the worst thing that could happen.
The worst thing that could happen, rather, is for a bigot of this stripe to be elevated to the bench and a judgeship. You know, like Noach Dear, endorsed by Diane Savino, Dominic Recchia, Vito Lopez and a few others. read more »
Many black political activists, some black nationalists and even a sprinkling of black moderates, will celebrate Black Solidarity Day on November 5th, 2007; and in keeping with the theme, a large group of blacks intend to endorse Barack Obama for president on that day. Included in that group is NYC councilmember Charles Barron and his wife (and fellow-activist) Inez Barron. The fiery council member from East New York, Brooklyn, intends to put together a group of progressives of all races, nationalities and ethnicities, behind this endorsement effort. He also intends to line up many anti-Iraq-War activists, some veterans, many church and community leaders, and hopefully also a few elected officials of all races, nationalities and ethnicities.
Barron-a former member of the Black Panthers- claims that he has been closely following the presidential debates and is confident that he is making the correct endorsement. He said that he liked some of the things John Edwards said about poverty in the USA, and also many of the positions that candidate Kucinich has taken. He said that Hilary Clinton has been the most disappointing to him, since she seems to lack core convictions. He said that he arrived at supporting Obama, despite some reservations that the candidate needs to get deeper into black issues while on the campaign stump. Barron believes that Obama is the most inspiring of the lot, and has offered many new ideas for change. He also seems to be attracting many young people and is bringing many new voters to the political system. Barron thinks that this is all good.
This endorsement couldnâ€™t have come sooner for Barack Obama, since recent national polls show him trailing Mrs. Clinton amongst black voters, by almost 20 percentage points (33-52). This endorsement also would help Obama deal with the question of â€œis he black enough?â€ In relation to that question, Barron laughed it off as silly and irrelevant. Barron said that such a moot question has no place at the discussion table, once you realize that all the other candidates bar Richardson (Hispanic) are white. He further added that even though Barack Obama may not be as militant as he (Barron) would like, he appears to be someone willing to work with all people on the political spectrum in order to find the common good. read more »