Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Time for Howard Dean to show leadership

Regular readers will know that this blog has been a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton from the start. And last night's 2:1 victory in Kentucky shows again why she would be the stronger candidate to run against McCain in the autumn. It is also the case that had the Democrats not adopted a mad system of primaries and caucuses, which are weighted in favour of liberal rather than mainstream opinion, she probably would be the candidate.

But the reality is that Hillary cannot now win this contest under its current rules, whatever her popular vote or strength in key states. However, she is not going to step down until there is some justice from the pig-headed leadership of the Democratic Party, and that means counting delegates from the populous states of Florida and Michigan.

Florida's delegates should be seated proportionately, as all the candidates were on the ballot paper, and none actively campaigned in the state. Michigan's case is more difficult, as Hillary was the only main candidate on the paper, so their delegates should symbolically be seated 50-50. Once that happens and remaining superdelegates make up their minds, Hillary will likely still be behind, and should gracefully concede; the issue of whether she should be the VP candidate can then be considered.

But to ensure such smooth sequencing requires some leadership from the party chairman Howard Dean. He must ensure a deal is brokered so that the Democrats go to the convention united. Dean has been utterly useless to date - which is no surprise given that he served to make John Kerry appear statesmanlike in the 2004 campaign. He now has a chance to redeem himself - and give his party with Obama as candidate a clean run for the White House.

1 comment:

Caroline said...

I am a (female) Obama supporter and applaude your graceful concession. Will the woman herself follow your lead though? We all wait to find out.