Last Tuesday, June 3, Illinois Senator Barack Obama won enough delegates in the last two presidential primary states (Montana and South Dakota) to declare himself the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee for president.
From Wednesday through Friday, the nation’s mass media engaged in a round of speculation regarding the future of New York Senator Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Might Hillary contest the nomination all the way to the floor of the national convention in August? If so, would she challenge the recent compromise decision of the Rules Committee of the Democratic National Committee regarding the Florida and Michigan delegations to the convention? Might she suspend her campaign? If she did, would she do so with a clear call for all Democrats to unite behind Senator Obama? On Saturday, Senator Clinton suspended her campaign, endorsed Senator Obama, and called on all Democrats to support him.
Just as power abhors a vacuum, the media detests a lack of copy. So, by Sunday, the speculation began anew. Whom would Barack name as his vice-presidential nominee? Would it be Senator Clinton? Would Obama/Clinton be a dream ticket or a match made in hell, dooming the Democrats to defeat? While the answers to the first set of questions regarding Senator Clinton’s withdrawal from the campaign wound up being “No-No-Yes-and Yes” and were forthcoming by last Saturday, the speculation regarding the vice-presidency is likely to be around for awhile. Should Northeast Democrats care that it will be?
Questions regarding Clinton’s withdrawal from the campaign and the identity of the vice-presidential nominee all pale in comparison with a more basic concern. Will the Democratic Party work hard enough to elect Barack Obama president?
The answer is by no means a resounding “yes.” We must mend our internal differences. That process is well underway as we see from news reports that Senators Clinton and Obama recently met at the home of Senator Dianne Feinstein and emerged from the meeting laughing. Other reports confirm that the staffs of the two campaigns are already meeting and planning close working relationships. If these reports are true, they suggest that the time to start organizing for the fall campaign is now.
To that end, the officers of the Northeast Democratic Club, have taken the following actions:
We are scheduling a general membership meeting of the club on August 20 (the club normally does not meet in August)
We are looking for a campaign headquarters (please contact Carol Jacques, at 323-225-0501, if you have any suggestions)
We are initiating fundraising efforts, and
We are developing a comprehensive campaign strategy, designed to turn out a massive Democratic vote this November.
Please join us at the next club meeting, at El Arco Iris, on Wednesday, June 18. Los Angeles City Council Member (and potential City Controller candidate) Wendy Greuel will be speaking to the club on the city budget and her future electoral plans.
President, Northeast Democratic Club
This article appeared first in the Northeast Democrat, newsletter of the Northeast Democratic Club, and is republished here with permission.