Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Today's the Day!

This race has been like a slow build of excitement (with a drip drip drip to the nomination rather than the expected gush) but let me cautiously say that on this day it is highly likely that Barack Obama will finally go over the threshold for a pledged delegate majority with his expected victory in the Oregon Primary. What does that mean? Well, it doesn't mean he's the nominee for sure.

But think of it this way - there are two halves to this process, one being pledged delegates, who are intended to represent the choice of the voters. Barack will emerge as the clear winner of that margin today. The second half is, of course, the much discussed "Super Delegates" who were put in place as (let's be honest here) a sort of "check" on democracy to make sure us voters don't get to carried away with our crazy notions. You may be offended by that, but don't worry about it too much - because Barack is ahead in that margin too. So it's all good.

And while I'm feeling sunny and optimistic, let me also point out that although many in the press and within the party have expressed a lot of serious concerns about whether the extended primary process will weaken our nominee for the general election (and frankly I share some of those concerns) there is a serious up side to the extended primary as well.

Barack will finish this race with skilled, tested, fully staffed, trained and operation on the ground operations in pretty much every state of the Union. McCain will be playing catch up on this measure for weeks, maybe months. This is doubly good news for us because this is Obama's real area of strength - he's a phenomenal grassroots organiser who has made a serious commitment to building the party for the future. So our ground game this year will be second to none - and certainly not second to the demoralised, downhearted Republicans who can't even win in Mississippi these days!

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