lunes, febrero 18, 2008

An “independent” Obama?

With so much fuss going on recently about how it is mathematically almost impossible for either of the Democratic candidates, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, to reach the “magical number” of delegates in order to become the party’s nominee, the decision-breaker is shifting to the “super delegates”, raising a scenario in which the Democratic nominee could end up being one that is not backed by the majority of the voters.

Currently, Monday, 18 February 2008, Barack Obama has an overall lead in delegates, especially in the “pledged delegates” who are a result of the “popular” vote, while Hillary Clinton leads on the super delegates (influential party members). A couple of special considerations to complicate even more the situation: Florida and Michigan’s delegates are currently not being taken into account due to the party’s rules, and that could spark even more debate in this election process.

All of this is shaping a picture which, if it continues, could result in a divided, fractured and deteriorated Democratic Party, opening the general election to an independent like NY Mayor Bloomberg or the Republican’s nominee, John McCain.

Barack Obama has been gathering such momentum, as described by not only his campaign or the political pundits, but even by the Clinton's campaign, that it’s increasingly hard to compete against a “movement” versus a candidate, which seems to be more and more the case for Obama.

This brings me to the title: in a supposed scenario under which Hillary would win the Democratic nomination based on a majority of super delegates, and Obama would be left out but with support by a “majority of the bases”, would it make sense to take the current momentum and vast national support for Obama, and continue the road to the presidential candidacy as an independent candidate?

In my personal view: Yes.

First, because on a personal note, I truly believe there is a desperate need for profound change, plus I share his views. Second, it would seem reasonable, taking into account the massive grass roots movement that supports him and the incredible amount of financing his campaign receives from ordinary people, especially through the Internet. Third, in these past elections he has proven to draw not only democrats, but independents and even a few republicans, poising to be a true unifier that goes beyond parties. Forth, it also seems there is enough support from the international community, as several countries (or country leaders) have openly stated that an Obama President would be beneficial to the US and its foreign relations, especially in the Middle East and Africa.

But, there are also other things to take into consideration account: by competing against the Democratic Party and it’s its candidate (Hillary), it would divide the electorates and give an edge to the Republican’s candidate (McCain), which could play against Obama. If he won, there would still play out 2 very different scenarios in the White House,: one of a true unifier, where he could be a president for the United States and not “blue states” or “red states”, (omit comma) by not having ties to a particular party. On the other hand, it could result in neither party supporting the president: the Republicans unifying behind their party, their ideals, vision and agenda, and a hurt and “betrayed” Democratic party not playing along friendly. The true losers obviously would be the people having a stifled government, more divided than before.

Back to today, where “hope” is still on everybody’s lips, hearts and mind.

So, instead of an independent Obama, let’s bring back the focus and hope for a unified Obama! I, for one, hope that Barack Obama wins the Democratic candidacy through a clear margin, backed by voters, pledged delegates and super delegates, to build on that momentum and take him all the way to the next presidency of the United States of America, by bringing democrats, independents and yes, hopefully a lot of republicans together to truly start working on the transcendent issues, not only surrounding the US, but also the rest of the world, stepping undeniably into an influential role that deeply heals and rebuilds all that has been polluted, damaged, waged, ignored.

Rebalancing where we put value, our values, I speak, not as a US citizen since I am a Mexican living in Spain, but as global citizen.

With hope,
Gibran Armijo


Blogger JesusR said...

I don't think that an independent Obama is in the best interest of all concerned. This will imply that the votes will be split between the two bases ( Clinton and Obama) and will leave plenty of room for a Republican candidate to squeeze in. We don't want this to happen, neither the Democratic Party.

lunes, febrero 18, 2008 6:36:00 p. m.

Anonymous Buzz Bruggeman said...

Hola Gibran...como estas?

I hosted a diner party the other night. 16 guys, topic was politics, driven by this article, e.g.

At the end of the evening we took a vote, and the results were 14 for Obama, One for Hilary, and one undecided, e.g. me! When we discussed what would happen if Hilary got the nomination, the votes were 9 for Hilary and 7 for McCain. I agree with JR..if Obama ran as an independent, McCain wins, and he might win if Hilary gets the nod. If Obama ran as an independent, he would forfeit any future chance of getting the nomination.



lunes, febrero 18, 2008 7:48:00 p. m.

Blogger manimal said...

Hi Gibran. So Happy Birthday! I feel very international over here as I have friends from Holland and one from Italy. None of us have been keeping up with American politics as thoroughly as you have, but it's still inescapable because it's all over the news. Here I have access to CNN en Espanol and access to BBC and I learned about this 'super-delegate.' And for the first time, I able to hear the point of view from someone intelligent who is on the outside looking in on America. And we all agree, Obama is the man.
I don't like this 'super delegate' stuff, and if Hillary wins it, then I am for the "Independent Obama." I think the reward of him becoming our leader, my leader and representative of my country, is worth the risk of a divided democratic party, etc. If he wins, he will unite us all.
I'm going to look at your archives and read more blogs.

Miss you and love you Primo.

martes, febrero 19, 2008 5:24:00 a. m.

Blogger GA said...

WOW!! Buzz, thanks so much for the link! It's the kind of analysis I've been looking for: objective, intuitive and profound! It gives me information, context and reassurance of my personal insights and intuitions.

Thanks dad, primo for your input!

miércoles, febrero 20, 2008 7:19:00 p. m.


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