Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Horray for Brokered Conventions?

Well, as most of you know by now, another would-be Super Tuesday (Super Tuesday II or mini-Super Tuesday, as pundits called it) has come and gone, with nothing much changed. On the Democratic side anyway, it still seems to be a tie-game. Yes, Clinton 'won' both Ohio and Texas, but due to the proportional representation of delegates, her winning margins aren't significant enough to radically alter the delegate count (for example, Obama more or less thumped Clinton in Vermont, winning 60% to 38%, yet he only wins 8 delegates to her 5). Basically, punditry aside, most of the states have had statistical dead-heats in relation to delegate counts.

Unlike most of my fellow political watchers, I'm excited by the idea of a brokered convention. First of all, it's going to make terrific television. I'm sure the networks are salivating over what will likely be record viewership for any party convention in recent history.

Second of all, as one of many Democrats who were annoyed at how John Kerry was instantly annoyted the nominee as the result of winning on Iowa caucus, I've taken much pleasure in how the campaigns have dragged on a bit, to a point where literally every state will count and every vote matters. Granted, I'm as saddened as the next lefty that Chris Dodd, Joe Biden, and Dennis Kucinich barely made it past the starting gate, but the level of high drama and real competition is refreshing. This is democracy in action, folks. It's complicated and it's messy. If having a brokered convention is the cost of every state having their say, then so be it.

What we, as Democrats, must do, is keep the media narrative focused on the idea that we have two exceptional candidates who have passionate followings. We are voting for the one we like, not against the one we don't.

We also must remember that this race is far from over. Clinton and Obama both have solid chances to win this thing. Just like how the media created the narrative that Bush had won in 2000 and that Gore was just being a spoil-sport in demanding that all the Florida votes be counted, the media has created the narrative that Clinton can't win and should drop out now for the good of the party. They are more or less tied at this point, yet no one calls for Obama to drop out at this point, nor should they. This one is going into extra innings, so pass the peanuts and hot dogs.

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