Monday, March 31, 2008

Obama Battleground Update #1

Photo: More than 10,000 in Texas caucuses

[Barack Obama is now Leading Hillary Clinton in Texas, now that the caucus vote outcome is being added to the direct ballots in the primary, as the Texas 'two-step' process requires. While caucus voters in past elections numbered in the hundreds, the Obama insurgency has pushed the numbers past 10,000. To get the flavor of the battle, here's a first-hand account by an Obama progressive on the ground in Texas.]

Texas Jokes
End Today!

By Melody Townsel
Sat Mar 29, 2008

I'm just back -- literally, JUST back -- from Texas' 23rd Senatorial District's Democratic convention. I left my house at 6:15 a.m. I walked in at 12:30 this morning.

I'm exhausted. I'm thrilled Obama won by such a wide margin. I'm honored to have been selected to attend our state convention. I'm pissed as hell at HRC's national campaign.

And, after countless hours of phonebanking and organizing for Obama, an hourlong early voting process, a four-hour caucus process, and 18 hours of county convention, I've decided that I'm no longer willing to put up with anti-Texas jabs from Kossites (DailyKOS Readers), slurs against my patriotism from Republicans, and just about anything else from Clinton supporters.

Unlike Kath, I was largely unable to take photos because my credentials were challenged. Along with the credentials of a large swath of the elected delegates.

After six or so extremely hot, crowded, confusing hours, many of us were unable to determine why, exactly, our credentials had been challenged. The Clinton camp had announced that they were targeting the 23rd district for credentials challenges and, by god, that's what they did.

By the end, the Clinton folks were willing -- hell, eager -- to throw out not just random individuals but the entire delegation of 2 precincts. (So much for voter enfranchisement, eh, Hills?)

The protest process was tailor-made for alienating committed voters, wearing them out to the point where they would drop out. By the end of the night, the convention floor was abuzz with tired, pissed-off voters who now hate Hillary with the fire of a thousand suns.

I'm one of them. Thanks for sucking those 10 or so hours away from me, Hills. Love ya. Mean it.

In the end, the Hillary camp did successfully win challenges on 22 delegates. Out of a total of 2,650. When the announcement came, we calculated that the 10-hour delay of the start of our convention averaged roughly a successful challenge only every 30 minutes.

So we stayed. Surprise, Hillary! Not a single delegate OR ALTERNATE left early from my precinct, which meant that the delegation not continuing on to state spent 12 hours making the Texas delegate count official.

So, take that, HRC! Your sniper fire was unsuccessful.

Dad, I'm putting you on notice. You choose to question my patriotism again because I oppose Iraq, you'll rue the day.

And the next time we're Bush-bashing around here, remember our 18 hours of non-stop conventioneering -- and think twice about messing with Texas.

Peace out, y'all. I'm off for beer and a bed.

UPDATE: I just woke up. Beer and sleep GOOD!

First, thank you all for your wonderful comments and expressions of support. I've tried to read them all, and respond where I could. I accept them all on behalf of all our Texas delegates, whom, as you can read in the comments, spent Saturday in one of the concentric circles of hell.

I won't bother to rehash all the news reports that have come in with results. I will throw up this quote from the Dallas Morning News Trailblazers blog:

Barack Obama handily won District 16 by 59 percent-41 percent. But he crushed Hillary Rodham Clinton in Sen. Royce West's District 23 -- 82 percent to 18 percent. Clinton barely made the "threshold" of 15 percent to get any delegates at all from the county.

I'm off for coffee in a few minutes, and I'm going to start figuring out my response to the HRC campaign's challenges.

Many of you asked the nature of the challenges, and all I can tell you is that the vast majority of us never figured out the exact grounds on which we were charged -- and the conditions were so crowded, hot and crazy that it wasn't practical to push any further than to get your credentials and get seated. (It was, in fact, so miserable that a few people passed out and EMS was called twice.)

My current plan of attack is to bombard our Texas superdelegates with our collective dissatisfaction with the 12 hours of bullshit. I'll post a diary soon with a call to action to that effect, but I'll need to do some research to pull together a list of our supers and their contact info.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey! The "READ MORE" is not working today and you have to click on the main title of the article. That's OK.

All of the enthusiasm sounds good except for the I hate Hillary with a thousand suns. Hopefully progressives realize there is no room for hate amongst fellow Democrats.

We go up together. United we stand, divided we fall and all that good stuff.

Sounds like Texas feels sufficiently guilty for 8 years of Bush and is anxious to make amends.
That's great.

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