Monday, August 18, 2008

Day one of the program (April)

Today was the first actual day of The Washington Center's program Campaign 2008. I would like to introduce a few (semi) rhetorical questions that were brought up in our morning meetings. Basically we were talking about how Barack Obama became the presumptive Democratic nominee and all of the what-ifs surrounding the past year during early campaigns. I will share a few:

A. What if John Edwards had dropped out earlier in the race, say in November or December? How would this have affected the "pie" that Clinton, Edwards, and Obama were sharing? Most of Edwards' supporters have very similar characteristics of Clinton's. Who would be the nominee in that case?

B. What if Oprah (as silly as it sounds, many people are impressionable, and celebrities such as Oprah have mass supporters) and other Senators had endorsed Clinton rather than Obama? How far did a simple announcement of endorsement sway people one way or another?

C. What if Obama does not have a successful convention?

D. What will happen with the Texas delegates who supported Hilary Clinton?

I think all of these questions are important to reflect on because there were only a few factors that led to an Obama over Clinton victory, and the convention very easily could have been for Clinton if some of these factors changed or changed earlier. A speaker made the point this morning that even with all of the Republican "woes" of a bad presidency, unprecedented debts, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama does not have the landslide poll support one would expect. The Democrats should easily be ahead and the election should easily be decided already, but it is not. Obama only has a small advantage over John McCain, and that is the biggest question I will leave you all with tonight. Why? Why isn't this campaign and election going to be a landslide victory for Obama (at least not as of August)?

On a lighter note, I saw the very first signs, flags, and souvenirs on our trip downtown this evening. It will be interesting to see how much more will be put up during this next week. Enjoy. Goodnight.

Union Station, downtown Denver

The first decorations and memorabilia for the Democratic National Convention

Obama gear and University of Oklahoma students (center) with Matt (UTSA, right) and myself (left)

I don't know what this is yet or what purpose it serves, but I will find out.

--April Sanchez

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