Sunday, January 20, 2008

Another quick comment on Saturday's elections by Norman Markowitz

Joe and Terrie both made excellent points in their blog posts. We
should remember however that given the proportional representation
principle on which many of these delegates are chosen, it isn't over
until it is over, although Obama's strong showing, given the context,
may have a bandwagon effect for him, and help make it a two way race
for the political pennant. We will have to wait for "Super Tuesday,"
which is a little bit like Labor Day in the Major League pennant
races, to have a clearer idea of what the balance of political forces

Even with the governor's endorsement and labor support, Obama faced an
uphill battle in Nevada, a right to work state where a significant
part of the political establishment and the labor movement backed
Clinton. There was also a concerted effort by the Clinton campaign to
bring out the Latino vote(my Senator in New Jersey, Bob Menendez, for
example, went to New Mexico to campaign for Clinton). Menendez is a
Cuban-American who is, I believe, fairly well-known to Latino voters
nationally in that he appears on news and public affairs programs on
Spanish language television, which would make him an effective
campaigner for Clinton
As for Edwards poor showing(quite poor,given the fact that his
campaign coordinated previously reported that it was tree way race in
Nevada) he is in a difficult situation, although where he stands in
the race will also become much clearer after Super Tuesday, when he
will have to make important decisions.

As Joe said in an earlier post, we have got to keep "Our Eyes on the
Prize" which is the decisive defeat of the Republican right at all

Speaking about that, tomorrow is Martin Luther King Day,(the "eyes on
the prize" series on the Civil Rights movement remains one of public
television's highpoints in public affairs programming) and we should
remember that King is widely regarded as the most respected American
leader of the second half of the twentieth century. Without the Civil
Right movement and King's crucial leadership role in it, what we are
seeing in the Clinton-Obama race today would not be possible(perhaps
Hillary Clinton, who was a "Goldwater girl" in 1964, which made sense
given her class-background, might also be in a very different place
politically today). There is a recent book by Thomas Jackson, From
Civil Rights to Human Rights: Martin Luther King, Jr and the Struggle
for Economic Justice(U. of Pennsylvania Press, 2007) which I recently
reviewed positively for H-Net( a series of
online discussion lists sponsored by the American Historical
Association. The work looks at King's broader philosophy and relates
that philosophy to socialism. It is important reading

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