Recently the punditry and the Democratic leadership have been worrying their little heads off about the possibility of a brokered convention in August. According to them it would be bad. Real bad. There would be party bosses huddled in smoke-filled rooms, actually smoke-free rooms this time, but that spoils the imagery. And they'd be making deals. Back room deals. The kind of deals that would disaffect the party faithful and lead to disaster in November. As evidence that a brokered convention would be bad they cite the last two brokered conventions that happened way back in the olden days. I could provide a link, but hey, you got fingers, google it or look it up in Wikipedia. Trust me, it happened and it was bad.
With the momentum Barack Obama is gaining from this weekend's sweeps of primaries and caucuses in Washington, Nebraska, Louisiana, Maine and the Virgin Islands, talk of a long drawn out campaign could be moot. But if Hillary Clinton should make a comeback as expected in Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, making it a horse race to the end, would that necessarily be all bad? It does mean that the candidates will spend time, energy and resources (read: money) fighting each other and not John McCain. And there is also the possibility that the dreaded superdelegates could pick the candidate least favored by the voting public and cause a rift in the party. On the other hand, there are some good things are happening now, and could happen as the result of a real fight to the end.
First, there's the excitement and the participation of Democratic voters in primaries and caucuses in record numbers. A percentage of participation much higher than Republican participation, which is waning. This race has people excited in a way they have not been in a long time. It's much more exciting and generates more news cycles than anything happening on the Republican side. And as Barack Obama frequently states in his stump speech, it's not all because of the candidates. Seven years of George Bush has something to do with it.
Secondly, it would be historic. It hasn't happened since...uhm...I thought I told you to google it. As long as the campaign doesn't turn nasty, which is a possibility as candidates get desperate, but not if they are thinking in the best interest of the party and the country (country should be first). And as long as the decision of the superdelegates does not disaffect the majority. As long as voters don't feel like they did in 2004 after Florida and hanging chads, I think we will be fine.
Polls indicate 84% of Democrats will support either candidate. And the idea of a dream ticket, whether it's Obama/Clinton, or Clinton/Obama, seems to excite Democrats even more. I wonder if there are any polls that pit a dream ticket against McCain and anybody else? It would probably be a landslide. And that possibility might force the candidates to consider it.
So I don't think the pundits, John Dean and Donna "I get two votes" Brazile need to worry their pretty little heads so much over a having brokered convention, as much as how we have one, should it come down to that.
-Fight the Powers.