Inside the Security Council: Miscellany
September 24, 2009

Disappointingly, Moamar Qaddafi didn't show up to speak for Libya at the security council this morning, although a Libyan representative did deliver a colorful speech demanding a permanent security council seat for his country and insisting that Israel to grant the IAEA open access to its Dimona nuclear facility. During the Libyan's remarks, Rahm Emanuel got up, walked across the room and sat down next to Congressman Bill Delahunt--who is a US delegate to this weeks' proceedings--throwing his arm around the Masschusetts Democrat and whispering in his ear. It was also interesting to see Hillary

A Teamster For Mccain
September 03, 2008

  Randy Orr is a truck driver and a member of the Teamsters Union. He is also a Republican delegate from Houston. This is his first convention, and he is delighted with it. "I never finished my degree in college. I remember the one class I took that I enjoyed was political science. It was a Democrat that taught it, and he talked about being a delegate. Now I'm one."  He decided to become active in Republican politics because of his faith. "I grew up in the church, and after about four or five years, I realized that anything that affects you or me, God is interested in it," he says.

In Defense Of Proportional Delegate Allocation
May 28, 2008

Byron York has a column in USA Today suggesting the Democrats abandon their system of proportional delegate allocation and adopt a winner-take-all-system. York says, "Yes, winner-take-all can be rough. But at least it produces a winner." The effects York identifies--the protracted campaign and the possibility of a popular-vote winner losing the delegate count--are real enough. But this isn't an indictment of proportional delegate allocation.

No Really, You Should Go
April 23, 2008

Last week, Senator Pat Leahy suggested that Hillary Clinton ought to quit the presidential race. How insensitive! How boorish! Pundits gasped, Clinton took umbrage, and even Barack Obama was forced to concede that Clinton has the right to run for as long as she desires. The persistent weakness of American liberalism is its fixation with rights and procedures at any cost to efficiency and common sense.

Proof Rush Limbaugh's Strategy Worked In Ohio
March 13, 2008

Reporting out TNR's Ohio Primer, the phrase I heard most often from pollsters and political scientists was, "Hillary should do better than Obama in that district, but not 60% better." Districts with an even number of delegates might have favored Hillary, but her lead wasn't supposed to be lopsided enough that she'd win an extra delegate. Come March 5, colleagues at the office may have noticed my jaw dropping. Hillary slaughtered Barack Obama in several of these districts, picking up 4-2 leads in places that were supposed to remain 3-3.

Obama By A Coin Flip
March 07, 2008

At 6 P.M. on Tuesday night, Crystal Viagran is standing on a street corner in East Austin, Texas, holding an Obama sign above her head. In less than an hour, she ditches the sign and walks toward Govalle Elementary School, the primary voting and caucus site for Precinct 426, and picks up a manila packet containing all the instructions for conducting that night's precinct convention. Crystal, 32, who works as a student adviser at the University of Texas, her alma mater, was elected precinct convention chair in 2006 by a total of three votes. That's how many people showed up to caucus.

How Much Should Obama's Delegate Lead Matter?
March 07, 2008

It's a near-certainty that neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama will finish the primaries and caucuses with the majority of committed delegates necessary to capture the nomination. It's also a near-certainty that, no matter how well Clinton does in the remaining contests, Obama will have more committed delegates than she will once the primaries and caucuses are done.

Breaking: Mi Caucus Likely, Says Dnc Rules Committee Member
March 06, 2008

A member of the DNC's Rules And Bylaws Committee--the committee that stripped Florida and Michigan of its delegates for moving their primaries before February 5th--told me that Michigan plans to get out of its uncounted delegate problem by announcing a new caucus in the next few days. "They want to play. They know how to do caucuses," the DNC source said. "That was their plan all along, before they got cute with the primary." Michigan Democrats had originally planned on caucuses after the legally permissible Feb. 5 date, but then went along with top elected Democrats, including Gov.

I, Superdelegate: In Defense Of Texas Superdelegates
February 22, 2008

Alright, blogging on here is a contact sport? Cool. I grew up in Odessa, Texas, where if something wasn’t a full contact sport, then it probably wasn’t worth participating in. My first memory of being in politics was getting home one night soon after my father filed to run for District Attorney to find a bomb squad at our home. Apparently someone didn't want him in the race. After my first diary entry describing my status as an automatic delegate to the Democratic National Convention, comments described me as elitist, soulless, and only out for fame.

I, Superdelegate: In Which I Receive Yet Another Mysterious Phone Call, And President Clinton Podcasts For Me
February 18, 2008

David Holmes, a 34-year-old political/legislative consultant, is a Democratic superdelegate from Austin, Texas. He pledged to vote for Hillary Clinton about three weeks before the Iowa Caucus, but recently, there have been rumors that he’s thinking about switching his support to Obama. Let’s just say that he’s been getting a lot of phone calls lately. ... Holmes agreed to keep a diary for TNR of his superdelegate experience.   February 15, 2008 I am David Holmes, and I am a superdelegate.