Sunday, March 9, 2008

Why Bill Foster's Victory Tonight Was So Important For Barack Obama

Something pretty extraordinary happened tonight, and not just Barack Obama winning the state of Wyoming by a 61-38 margin. In a special election to fill the seat in the United States House of Representatives vacated by former Speaker of the House Denny Hastert, a seat in a very Republican area of Illinois, in a District Hastert has won overwhelmingly since entering Congress in the 1980s, Democrat Bill Foster has become the newest member of Congress. Foster, endorsed by Barack Obama (Obama even cut a TV spot for Foster), despite not being a career politician, withstood a multi-million dollar effort from the Republican Party to hold the seat (and even overcome John McCain campaigning for his opponent).

This is great news for Democrats, as it continues to show that when given the choice between Republicans and Democrats, even in previously Republican areas, the country keeps trending Democratic, which bodes for well for picking up House and Senate seats in the fall and increasing our majorities in both houses of Congress.

But even more than that, tonight was a huge victory for Barack Obama, and not just because he gained Foster's Super Delegate vote tonight. One of the biggest advantages of Obama, and one of the biggest fears about Hillary Clinton, is that Obama is bringing so many new people to the Democratic party, and attracting so many independents and even Republicans in some areas of the country, that he'll be able to not just ensure victory for himself in November, but help even more Democrats win down the ballot. People coming out for Obama will likely vote for Democrats in House and Senate races and state races as well. Obama has done extraordinarily well in Republican states, and even if he can't win them in the fall, he'll force John McCain to spend time and to spend money in states that Republicans usually take for granted. Instead of concentrating his efforts on Ohio, Michigan, and Florida, McCain will have to spend precious resources in places like Virginia, North Carolina, and Colorado.

And Obama's appeal has an added benefit to Democrats running in these Republican states. Even if Obama can't pull out a state himself, he may draw enough turnout to win a few House races otherwise unreachable. One of the biggest fears of Democrats in "red" states is that having Hillary Clinton at the front of the ticket will be an anchor which will sink the Democrats' chances to pick up crucial Congressional seats in swing and leaning-Republican districts. And when Super Delegates make their decision on whom to support, this downstream, down-ballot impact is going to be very important in their decision making. And having Obama's imprimatur certainly pushed Bill Foster over the edge, and it could push many other Democrats to victory as well. So Obama had a very, very good night tonight, because with Bill Foster's victory in the reddest of red areas of Illinois, it shows the power Obama can have leading the Democratic Party in 2008, and that's a lesson Super Delegates are not likely to soon forget.

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A Recovering Republican said...

You are right on target Quo Vadimus! At this point, it will be impossible for Clinton to take the lead in pledged delegatres no matter what happens with Michgan and Florida. No matter how you slice it, Obama will have the most pledged delegates at the convention, and the Super Delegates aren't about to overturn the pledged delegate results. The Super Delegates are also smart enough to understand that Obama has long coattails, and Clinton doesn't. At this point it's all about the "down the ballot" races. Having Obama at the top of the ticket would increase the Democratic majorities in the house and senate. Looking at it from a practical perspective, 43% of all voters in the United States have an unfavorable view of Hillary Clinton. There's no way that Hillary Clinton, starting with such high negatives, would help Democratic candidates. With her incredibly high negatives, Hillary is destined to lose the National race. She knows that. That's why she is desparately pleading for Democrats to send Obama to the back of the bus (even though he'll have the most pledged delegates) as Vice-President--that's the only way she could win. But there's no logical reason to do that. Many "Recovering Republicans" like me, and independents, intend to vote for Obama in the General Election, but would NOT vote for a CLINTON/OBAMA ticket. The best hope that the Democratic Party has to win the Presidency in 2008 is NOT to send Obama to the back of the bus; it's to throw Clinton under the bus!

bill foster spending said...

well now you have the question of how bill foster can hurt obama, because he's clearly not living up to his promises of 'real change'. if foster's idea of change is the same as the 'change' that obama is promising it's not very promising. let's just say that.

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