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What’s left for the Democrats

With the Florida and Michigan delegates seated with half-votes, the new threshhold to clinch the Democratic nomination is 2,118. The Washington Post says Obama has 2,052 (66 short) while Clinton has 1,877 (241 short).

Puerto Rico votes today, with 55 delegates; Clinton is expected to do well there. Montana and South Dakota vote Tuesday, with 16 and 15 delegates respectively; Obama is expected to do well there.

And so it’ll go to the superdelegates. Politico says the superdelegate count now stands at 324.5 for Obama, 279.5 for Clinton and 163 undecided. The undecideds include 86 Democratic National Committee members; 48 House members and 15 U.S. Senators. And of the undecideds, 14 are from California:

  • Rep. Susan Davis, D-San Diego
  • Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel
  • Rep. Bob Filner, D-San Diego
  • Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose
  • Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton
  • DNC member state Sen. Carole Midgen, D-San Francisco
  • DNC member and state Democratic Party campaign advisor Bob Mulholland
  • DNC member, attorney and author Christine Pelosi of San Francisco
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco
  • DNC member and labor union political director John A. Perez of Los Angeles
  • DNC member and retired chemical worker Robert Rankin of Carson
  • DNC member and state party chairman Art Torres
  • DNC member and state official Keith Umemoto of Sacramento
  • DNC member and attorney Steve Ybarra of Sacramento
  • U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday in San Francisco that he, Pelosi and DNC chairman Howard Dean have agreed to try to end the race by the end of this week by urging the remaining uncommitted superdelegates to weigh in.

    Posted on Sunday, June 1st, 2008
    Under: Barack Obama, California State Senate, Carole Migden, Democratic Party, Elections, Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, Jerry McNerney, Mike Honda, Nancy Pelosi, U.S. House, U.S. Senate | No Comments »

    Quips and outtakes from Harry Reid

    U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was at the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco today, and said he, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean intend to ensure that the race for the Democratic presidential nomination will be over by the end of next week.

    Here are some odds and ends for which I didn’t have room in the story:

    Asked whether his own “The Good Fight” or former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan’s “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception” should be the single must-buy, must-read political memoir of the year, Reid replied he’s donating all proceeds from his book to charity, but “Scott probably needs the money more.”

    Asked who’s most to blame for the subprime mortgage loan crisis, Reid said it’s former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, whom he called “the J. Edgar Hoover of the financial world: He did everything he could to get in good with the next president.” Greenspan must’ve known the subprime loans were a disaster in the making, Reid said, and “if he didn’t know, he should’ve known,” as the U.S. Treasury secretaries under the George W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations should’ve as well.

    On gas prices, Reid said the United States doesn’t have the oil reserves to produce its way out of the crisis, nor can it remain so dependent on oil imported from hostile or potentially hostile “tyrannical” regimes. Reid said he favors granting an eight-year tax credit to spur venture capital investment in solar, wind and geothermal energy production; he said he’d like to see the vast tracts of Nevada desert once used to test nuclear weapons be carpeted with solar panels to generate electricity for the nation.

    On healthcare, Reid said if we had Hillary Clinton’s healthcare plan — the one she pitched in 1993, while her husband was president — in place today, “there would be very few complaints.” Parts of that plan must be adopted into the next administration’s policy, he said, especially the ability of small business owners to pool their employees together so that they collectively can subscribe to better health-insurance plans.

    “Congress should have pretty low (approval) ratings, because we have not produced things,” he said — but he quickly said he’s not willing to take much blame for that. Republicans have filibustered 77 times in this Congress so far, he noted. “They broke a two-year record in 10 months. They’re like Mark McGuire, they’re on steroids. I guess I shouldn’t say Barry Bonds while I’m in San Francisco.”

    Posted on Thursday, May 29th, 2008
    Under: Democratic Party, Elections, Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Senate | No Comments »

    Willie Brown opines on Obama v. Clinton, 49ers

    Former San Francisco Mayor and Assembly Speaker Willie Brown talked to the Bay Area Council‘s 2008 Outlook Conference today, aboard the U.S.S. Hornet in Alameda, about the presidential race.

    On Barack Obama‘s controversial comments at an April 6 fundraiser in San Francisco, suggesting working-class people are bitter about their economic lot and “cling to guns and religion” as a result, Brown said this “frankly was probably an accurate comment.” But he said Obama should’ve realized a poor choice of words to express his sentiment, even if spoken before a small, no-press crowd in a private home in California, could be broadcast worldwide.
    brown-photo-by-ross-cameron.jpg
    Brown said the race for the Democratic nomination is “still open season… At the moment, I don’t think you can pick a winner.” But “if you were a betting person, at this stage of the game, you’d have to be on Obama,” who is in the lead after coming from behind a presumptive frontrunner, and who offers a vibrant, future-oriented message.

    Brown said he thought when the race began that if Hillary Clinton remained respectful of Obama and her other rivals for the nomination, she would win. “I did not beleive it made any sense to assume that instead of primary campaigns there would be coronations.” Obama, he said, has proved to be “a fabulous, qualified human being who also has lots of flavor about him;” his campaign proved to be savvy by not immediately gravitating to traditionally black forums and communities, but rather appealing from the start to as broad a demographic base as possible.

    A ticket with both Clinton and Obama is “not possible at all,” Brown opined; their policies and approaches to politics are too different. “Obama is really part of a whole new thing that’s going on out there in the world of politics.”

    More from Willie Brown, though not about the presidential race, after the jump… Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted on Wednesday, April 16th, 2008
    Under: Barack Obama, Elections, Hillary Clinton, Willie Brown | 1 Comment »