Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Capps gives superdelegate nod to Obama


Rep. Lois Capps announced yesterday her coveted superdelegate vote would go to Sen. Barack Obama, who she said was “the best choice” for America’s next president.
“This wasn’t an easy decision for me,” she said in a prepared statement. “But Sen. Obama’s proven judgment, his hopeful vision for America, and his unmatched ability to motivate millions of Americans eager for change made the choice for me.”

Capps, a democrat who prior to being elected to congress was a nurse for the Santa Barbara School District, is one of 794 superdelegates whose endorsements are required to become the democratic presidential nominee.
According to Democratic Convention Watch, a Web site that regularly updates the tally of delegates and superdelegates, Sen. Hillary Clinton is leading the superdelegate race with 261 endorsements compared to Obama’s 242.
Under superdelegates rules, Capps could have endorsed whichever candidate she preferred, regardless of the way her constituency voted in California’s Feb. 5 primary election.
As it is, Capps’ decision to back Obama fell in line with the voters in the 23rd Congressional District, which narrowly favored the Illinois senator by 47.8 percent compared to Clinton’s 46.1 percent.
In Santa Barbara County, which makes up much of Capps’ district, 51.07 percent of the voters chose Obama compared to 41.8 percent for Clinton.
A spokeswoman in Capps’ Washington D.C. office said the congresswoman, “Endeavors to represent the will of her constituents as best she can but ultimately this was a decision of conscious for her and she decided to support Obama’s candidacy and his message of hope and change.”
Former Second District County Supervisor Susan Rose, an organizer for the group Santa Barbarans for Hillary, said Capps called her yesterday morning to inform her of the endorsement.
“I do appreciate that,” Rose said. “[But] of course I’m disappointed. There is a great amount of support for Hillary in the state of California, so I was hoping our congresswoman would have taken that path.”
Clinton convincingly won the state of California by netting 51.8 percent of the vote, while Obama took in 42.9 percent, according to the state’s election Web site.
Rose, who is a delegate for the Democratic Party, said Clinton’s political history and ability to successfully get legislation approved are some of the reasons she’s backed the New York senator.
“I know how difficult it is to effect change and she has done that,” Rose said. “That’s what I want for my next president. We’re looking at who can be the best next president.”
Capps credited Clinton for being a, “champion of those often underserved and forgotten,” and acknowledged the former first lady’s “remarkable record of achievement that inspires us all.”
“Her election would fulfill a life long dream for so many of us who have been fighting for women’s rights,” Capps said. “She would make a great president.”
But Capps said her decision to stand behind Obama was based on a number of things, including his decision to not support going to war with Iraq, his eloquence, and ability to reconnect the American people to politics.
“These are all true and good reasons, but I also believe Barack Obama is the better choice because of something larger and perhaps more important,” she said. “Simply put, he has made a call to the better angels of our nature. He is challenging us to lift ourselves out of the ugliness that increasingly consumes Washington, where the heat of your argument counts for more than the light it should bring.”
Capps has connections to both campaigns. According to the Web site, former President Bill Clinton provided support and raised money for both Capps and her late husband, Rep. Walter Capps. The Web site says Capps’ daughter, Laura Burton Capps, was an advisor in the Clinton White House in the mid 1990s and was later a speechwriter.
Capps’ tie to Obama is more personal. The Web site says Obama’s national press secretary, Bill Burton, is married to Burton Capps.
Obama said in a prepared statement that he was honored to have Capps’ support and credited her work as a school nurse.
“I look forward to fighting alongside her in the months ahead to finally make universal health care a reality, strengthen our economy, and bring about real change for the people of California and for all Americans,” Obama said.
Capps said part of her decision to support Obama is based on a motto her late husband lived by, which was: “We are strongest as people when we are directed by which unites us, rather than giving into the fears, suspicions, innuendos and paranoias that divide.”
“For years I have been waiting for a president that speaks to that vision,” she said. “I believe Barack Obama may very well be that rare leader.”


Rob Egenolf said...

Lois is indeed a gracious woman and was kind enough to call the Clinton Delegates before making her announcement public. I am also sure she was thoughtful in making her choice even though I disagree with her decision. She does clearly point that Senator Clinton is a great Presidential candidate and one that will serve us very well as President

Obama did indeed win Lois’ district but only by a small margin of 1.9%. On the other hand, Obama won by a far larger margin in her State which could also have dictated her choice. Using that logic, both Senators Feinstein and Boxer as well as all other elected State officials must now cast their votes for Clinton.

To those who think this is a valid basis for super-delegate choice, ask yourself if that would mean that in all districts and states, the candidate winning in that district or state would get all of the super-delegate votes in that district or state. If so be aware that such a policy would likely prevent Obama from getting enough super-delegates to prevail.

However, there are many quite important things to think about in the upcoming months until the Convention in August

First of all, as of right now, there is no expressed “will of the people”. Millions of voters not yet been able to cast their votes, and in statistical terms, the totals (both in votes and in delegates) remain in a virtual tie. A very small percentage separates the two candidates and that difference is hardly a “mandate”.

Secondly, the Democratic Party established a complex and arduous procedure to determine the nominee of the party. It is dramatically different than that of the Republican Party, which system had it also been used by the Democrats, would have already confirmed Clinton as the nominee. Once a procedure has been established, changing it midstream to the benefit of one candidate over the other can only undermine the integrity of that process and the integrity of the party. The only appropriate way to proceed is to now let that entire process play out until conclusion, the way it was intended at the outset.

Thirdly, to those who feel continuation of the primary process will undermine the eventual Democratic nominee, I say HOGWASH. It is only those who feel that short- circuiting that process can benefit their chosen candidate who express that view. In a larger view, a well contested primary will only prepare each of the candidates for their eventual run in the November election.

To those who feel that recent attacks on Obama are unfair and counterproductive, please be assured that the GOP will undertake a far more aggressive approach and no issue is safe from exploitation in the general election. If he is the eventual nominee, he will be all the more prepared to fight the kind of battle necessary to beat John McCain in November

Finally, it is apparent that the longer the process continues, the more it will become apparent that Clinton will more easily beat McCain than would Obama. The ultimate goal of the Democratic party is to prevent the GOP from staying in the White House and Obama stands a far greater chance of losing in November.

Give him some seasoning and a real chance to prove his strengths so when he does become the nominee in eight years, he will then have unified support within his party. He is great with poetry right now, and in a few years, he like Senator Clinton is now, will then be just as great with prose as with poetry, and he will then be ready to lead our country.

In the meantime, the candidate most prepared for this office will find her strength grow even more in the remaining primaries which will carry her to victory in Denver in August.

Vigilante said...

Did anyone notice that Rob Egenolf was so careful in his picking and choosing support Clinton's candidacy, that he was careless in picking and choosing his words. He actually says:

"Obama won by a far larger margin in [Capp's] State which could also have dictated her choice."

Oops! A diagnostic Freudian slip: Obama could easily win California, a BIG state!