Wednesday, March 5, 2008


The first thing I was struck by in the primaries in Texas and Ohio was the overwhelming turnout in both places. There were some dirty tricks played, such as the Canadian government's interference in the electoral process and advisor Goolsby's falling for that free-trade bait. But it sure sounds like - from what he is reported as saying - that Obama's anti-NAFTA stance was political posturing to an extent. That did not go over well in Ohio. Also Bill Clinton was the big pusher of NAFTA, not Hillary personally. Most Democrats now want to re-write trade agreements with full labor and environmental protections.

I think that Hillary hung tough and kept on fighting, which is surely to her advantage in terms of image. Now she will be seen as both strong and sensitive. I also hope that unity among Democratic voters, and turnout in November, will not be adversely affected by the prolonged battle for the nomination. The tremendous Obama movement is not going to vote for McCain no matter what, but it's all about Turnout, Turnout, Turnout, and this has to be sustained. I hope that women voters of all strata and ethnic backgrounds will rally behind Hillary if she wins the nomination, as well as African Americans. Jim Lane's Texas blog mentioned that in his precinct the captain for Hillary was a Black man and the precinct captain for Hillary was a Black woman, so there is still hope for unity. It would be tremendous to have a woman President, as it would be to have an African American President. It would not be a good thing to have John McCain intoning Bomb Bomb Iran in the White House to the tune of Barbara Ann, my friends.

Lastly, I was impressed by the views of "ordinary" voters in Ohio, heard on CNN and elsewhere about the tough economic situation we all face, and their opposition to the Iraq War and the Bush Republicans. Some of their comments, before the cameras, were a little halting, but they were sincere, carefully considered, and on the mark. When I worked for George McGovern, helping to manage his Albany, New York campaign office, I remember going door to door and listening to working people express their views. They have always known what is going on in this country. They are now actually getting out and casting their vote. So there is hope.

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