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February 15, 2008



We swept many of the caucuses in Johnson County, KS too.

And what you say, "My first vote was for George McGovern, and, as I once was honored to tell him to his face, it's still one of the best votes I've ever cast." -- I could say. I'm happier about that vote than almost any I've cast since.

I still remember the date of the caucus -- April 8, 1972. And how we organized for the caucus.

Also, like McGovern himself, I'm supporting Hillary.

Thanks for the memories.

John Petty

Thanks for the visit. In Ellis County, our "organizing for the meeting" was more along the lines of getting everybody together at a local pub an hour or so before and downing a couple of pitchers of beer first.


Some notes:

1) You are basically saying that red state Democrats don't matter. If you ever want to see red states turn blue, their interests should be taken into account.

2) "Caucus strategy" arguments ignore the possibility that Obama would have won either a primary or a caucus in most caucus states. Polls in caucus states (i.e. heavily-polled Iowa) hint that he would have.

3) I may be a wrong on this, but didn't Richard Nixon use all kinds of illegal tactics to swing the 1972 election? Does that matter at all?

4) Are the older party types sending the police after Obama's college students? The rancor of that era simply isn't present today.

John Petty

No, I'm NOT saying "red states" don't matter. I'm saying that a "red state" caucus strategy has been tried before. McGovern wrote the book on it.

RE: Iowa. Maybe. It looked to me like the Iowa vote was roughly a third, a third, and a third, and that the Obama campaign did an excellent job of organizing to boost their percentage at caucus.

I agree the rancor isn't there--thank God. Most polls show that Democrats, by and large, like both candidates. That was definitely not true in '68. This hostility had mitigated somewhat by '72, but there was still a lot of hostility between various segments of the Democratic Party.

Thanks for the drop by. I appreciated your comments.

Sandy Lorean

I am so glad you are writing about this! I have been very concerned about this nomination process and I strongly fear that if Barack gets the nomination, like McGovern, he will lose the general election in November.

I think the point about red states is a very important one: not that Dems in red states "don't matter", but that in a general election, a state with a significant republican majority will not deliver any electoral votes to our candidate in November. Looking at the numbers for Super Tuesday alone, Clinton's Arizona might go red in the fall, but Obama's Utah, Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, and Kansas stand to deliver no electoral votes for our side.

Second, and I think more importantly, is the Republican attack machine. Not only does Barack have a lot of truthful weaknesses the republicans can use (he's only been a Senator for 3 years and one of those he spent campaigning for President, I think they will lean heavily on his inexperience), but they have a tendency to lie and distort partial truths as well: his father's family is Muslim, his financial ties to Tony Resko, a Syrian native indicted on money laundering charges, and his admitted teenage drug use. Surviving the republican attack machine depends partly on longevity. Because Barack is a new face on the scene, he lacks the natural defense of history. People are less likely to believe or listen to crazy stories about someone who's been around a long time. I doubt anyone would believe a crazy story like "Hillary's sympathies may lie with the Terrorists." But don't put it past the neo-cons to float that kind of lie about Barack Hussein Obama. Finally, much of Barack's support is from moderates: people who sometimes vote republican. Unlike Dems who ignore the ultra right, moderates may listen to the swiftboat attacks and abandon him on election day.

John Petty

Hi Sandy, thanks for the visit. Somebody told me the other day that they were thinking of starting something called McGovernites for Clinton. Maybe I'll join up!


...then how come polls consistently show Obama beating McCain and Hillary losing? The guy is just too young to be all that dirty. Frankly, I'll take a few months of Rezko over a few months of commodities trading, Whitewater and all the other junk they made up in the 90s. After all, it doesn't matter that it's true.

John Petty

It does matter to me. The fact that Hillary has been vilified by right-wing media makes me want to stand with her against these liars.

Of course the polls show Obama leading right now. He's had two months of the best press any candidate has ever had. (Even at that, he's only polling 4-5 points better than Hillary, at most.)

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