Sunday, March 30, 2008

Open Letter to Obama Supporters from an Obama Supporter: Let the Contentious Campaign Continue

Senator Patrick Leahy called last week for Hillary Clinton to bow out of the Democratic Presidential contest. Not only is that not likely to happen, it's likely counterproductive to call for it. Hillary Clinton will drop out of the race when she's ready, and the only people she's likely to take counsel from about that are Bill and Chelsea. Further, if there is any chance, however slight, of Hillary winning, then why should she withdraw now?

I'm an Obama supporter. But here, from that vantage point, are my takes on various contentious issues in the Democratic race to the White House:

1. Let all the voting continue, in every primary yet to be held. There will be more than enough time, after the last primary in June, for the candidates to reassess their positions before the convention in August.

2. Calls for a reduction in criticism of Obama and Clinton by Clinton and Obama are foolish. Although I by no means support some of the name-calling that has been going on (such as James Carville's attack on Bill Richardson as a "Judas"), spirited criticism and attacks strengthen each candidate - and will make each a better contender against John McCain in the Fall. As an Obama supporter, I've been impressed with the cool and dignity he has shown in response to attacks from the Clinton campaign. This bodes well in a contest with the short-fused McCain.

3. And while we're at it, let's have revotes in Michigan and Florida. Obama has nothing to fear from those. Even if he loses both of those states in fair revotes to Hillary Clinton, he'll almost certainly get almost as many delegates. And, when you're already ahead, as is Obama, this serves to bring you closer to the nomination.

The common ingredient in all of the above is the democratic process. Calling it off, excluding certain states, muting the debate in any way, is not the way to go for the Democratic Party - and for people who see Obama as the best candidate and the next President.
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