Texas and Ohio primaries
Hillary Clinton fights back
Article added on March 5, 2008 at 14:43 Swiss time
The Clintons have another
comeback kid in their family: Hillary. The New York senator not only won the
Texas and Ohio primaries, but also in Rhode Island. Only in Vermont, she was
clearly beaten by Democratic party rival Barack Obama.
Hillary Clinton still trails Barack Obama by some 90 pledged delegates. It
will be almost impossible for her to win the Democratic nomination. However,
the wins in Rhode Island, Texas and Ohio could change the electoral dynamic
within the party. The fight between the Democratic rivals will get uglier,
with John McCain as the beneficiary.
370 pledged delegates were up for grabs in the four Democratic primaries of
March 4, 2008. In Texas alone, 193 delegates had to be chosen. 126 were
elected in primaries, 67 in caucuses.
After 99% of the Texan precincts reporting, Hillary Clinton leads with 51%
of the votes in front of Barack Obama with 48%. With 36% of the precincts
reporting in the Texan caucuses, Barack Obama got 52% of the votes, Hillary
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In Ohio 141 delegates were up for grabs. After 99% of the precincts
reporting, Hillary Clinton clearly leads with 54% of the votes in front of
Barack Obama with only 44% of the votes.
In Rhode Island, with 98% of the precincts reporting, Hillary Clinton
managed to win 58% of the votes. Barack Obama only got 40% of the votes.
In Vermont, with 86% of the precincts reporting, Barack Obama leads with 60%
of the votes in front of Hillary Clinton with only 38% of the votes.
Since the pledged delegates are allocated on a proportional basis, Hillary
Clinton would have to win all upcoming Democratic primaries by double digit
numbers in order to become the Democratic presidential nominee, a pretty
According to exit polls, Barack Obama was the clear winner among the voters
below the age of 29 as well as among African Americans. Hillary Clinton
clearly won the support of the voters over 50 and of the female voters.
The Democratic party has a big problem. Because its elite distrusted the own
party base, they introduced superdelegates. These party officials, current
and former office holders make up some 20% of all delegates. They do not
have to vote for a specific candidate and can change their preferences at
Should the superdelegates decide the nomination against the will of the
party base, the Democratic Party will be in trouble. All people
participating in primaries and caucuses across the country will feel
cheated. Therefore, not only the Obama camp claims that the superdelegates
should support the candidate who won their specific state. It sounds
reasonable. The Democrats should simply abandon the system of superdelegates.
After eight years of mismanagement by George W. Bush, the Democrats are
desperate to send one of their own as president to the White House.
Democratic primaries and caucuses could count on a record participation
around the country. If the party survives the Clinton-Obama fight, the
Democrats are likely to win the White House in November.
Hillary Clinton is perceived as divisive not only by Republicans, but also
by most independents and even a minority of Democrats. Barack Obama would
have a better chance to beat John McCain in November.
For the world, it will be important to get an American president who stand
for free trade. Unfortunately, both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama showed
their protectionist and populist side more than once on the campaign
trail, especially in Ohio. John McCain would be better for free trade than
either of the Democratic candidate.
On the subject of Iraq, Barack Obama claims on his website that - as
president - he will bring home one to two combat brigades per month. This
would lead to a vacuum of power in Iraq, which would likely be filled by the
most ruthless forces in Iraq. Massacres, ethnic cleansing, a civil war and
many additional refugees could be the result of such as disastrous policy.
If 30,000 additional troops helped to stabilize Iraq, send in another 30,000
troops in order to fully calm the situation. The United States are
responsible for law and order in the country they occupy. Only once the
situation really under control, American troops could leave gradually. A
stable, prosperous and democratic Iraq would be a huge success story with a
positive influence on the entire Middle East.
Among the many politically active actors and actresses, only Angelina Jolie
seems to understand the situation. In a remarkable article in the
Washington Post, she wrote why the United States should remain in Iraq.
The UNHCR goodwill ambassador informed herself on the ground regarding the
situation of the refugees. Angelina Jolie wrote that the 2 million refugees
within Iraq as well as the 2.5 million Iraqi refugees in neighboring
countries need the long term assistance of the United States, not only for
moral reasons, but also the reasons of American national security.
In her speech after the wins in Rhode Island, Texas and Ohio, Hillary
As Ohio goes, so goes the Nation. That has been true for the last one
hundred years. She just forgot to mention that John McCain also won Ohio.
“rules” are here to be broken one day. She still trails Barack Obama when
it comes to pledged delegates and is unlikely to reverse the situation.
On the Republican side, Mike Huckabee finally dropped out of the race, and
John McCain is sure to become the GOP's presidential candidate. The
Republicans surely hope that Hillary Clinton will create a miracle in
winning the Democratic nomination, because she is the only person who could
really unite and mobilize the GOP as well as many independents and even
Democrats behind John McCain in November.
The most important lesson of the American primaries is that they show that
the United States are a vibrant democracy. The contrast with the manipulated
elections in pseudo-democratic Russia could not be more striking.