It breaks my heart to agree so strongly with Ed Koch. But truth is truth, dammit, no matter who speaks it.
In an interview with The Huffington Post, Koch warned that despite Obama's lead in every single primary election metric [if you don't count Florida and Michigan, of course!], the Illinois Democrat simply would not be able to best John McCain come November. As such, he urged Clinton to stay in the race even as some in the party call for her drop out now, even before Obama has officially secured the nomination.
Were the majority of states and voters who had gone to Obama - and the superdelegates who could very well affirm their decisions - making a grievous political mistake?
"Mistake is not exactly the word," replied Koch. "It is the wrong judgment. The reason that the superdelegates are there is to select that person who is most likely to prevail. And...even though he does not win on his own merits in terms of racking up sufficient delegates, in all probability the superdelegates will be afraid to exercise their own judgment. And we will simply go along with the count of the delegates that were chosen in the polls."
Koch's argued that Obama showed a complete lack of conviction and leadership in handling the controversy surrounding his former pastor. The theme is a constant feature in the former mayor's syndicated columns, several of which have directly questioned the credibility of Obama's attempts to distance himself from Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
"...If you are running for president, you can't be like some other poor guy in the pews who is afraid to stand up or even say something privately to the minister. You're the guy who wants to lead the country and you have to have courage to stand up and lead your own pastor. He did not exhibit that. But the fact that the Democratic constituency doesn't seem to care is a shock to me, but I'm certain that the overall constituency voting in November will care and that it will make the difference in the adverse way to his candidacy."
Here's the real kicker:
Saying he would support Clinton and "hope she ultimately prevails," Koch wasn't worried that Democratic infighting could hurt the party's chances in the fall. It was Obama's candidacy, he repeated, that would be the death knell.
"I believe that when the voting is over that the vast majority, not all, on both sides, will vote for the [Democratic] candidate," said Koch. "But that applies only to the Democrats who have been participating. I believe that the vast majority of voters will look at all of these allegations, which nobody disputes, as related to Wright and his comments, and that they will have an enormous impact on the vote and on those Independents and others who will make a decision in the general election. I just think he is a loser because of that." [emphasis added]
Don't you Obamans get it?
You can call for unity all you want, after you have smeared, defamed and dismissed Hillary and Bill Clinton. Many of us - in fact, the majority - will listen, because we really, really do not want McCaca as president.
But it won't matter.
In order to win the General Election, the Democrat or Republic has to get Independents to vote for him or her. It's a numbers game. On average, we've got about 30% unaffiliated (or Independent) voters in America. We have about an equal number of Democrats and Republics - around 34% Republics and 36% Democrats in January 2008. Democrats also traditionally have lower voter turnout than Republics (although if we follow the primary numbers, this could change in November.) So, we need those issues-based voters very badly.
I absolutely know that Obama will not get those voters in November. And so does Ed Koch. Wright is not the only reason; there's also experience and national security credentials, which Obama lacks but McCaca has (and so does HRC, which makes her the stronger candidate against McCaca).
I'm so sorry to say this, but we are looking at President McCaca if the superdelegates don't make the right decision, and there's nothing we can do about it.
And THAT is why many of us HRC supporters have resolved that, should HRC not be the nominee, we will not vote for Obama no matter what, and that we will change our party affiliation to Independent.
Any political party that would promote a sure loser over a sure winner doesn't deserve my money, time or support.
The Democratic Party still has time to save itself. Will it? Or will it go down in flames just when it should be most triumphant?
Tune in next time for another episode of..."As the Democrats Turn!"