Big news today: House Majority Whip James Clyburn, the number three Democrat in the House, makes his long-awaited endorsement. Not surprising to many who've been reading the tea leaves. His choice is Barack Obama, but he had insisted he would stay out of the process until the process was decided. He says the time is now.
Here's Clyburn's statement:
Today the primary process draws to a close. From the beginning, I have made it clear that I would put the Democratic Party's best interest first and remain publicly neutral as this process ran its course, but it is now time to make my preference known. Today I am pledging my delegate vote to Senator Barack Obama for President of the United States. I believe the nomination of Senator Obama is our Party's best chance for victory in November, and our nation's best hope for much needed change. Senator Obama brings a new vision for our future and new voters to our cause. He has created levels of energy and excitement that I have not witnessed since the 1960's. Recent surveys indicate that Senator Obama is by far the most preferred presidential candidate among Democrats and independents, and I believe he is the most electable candidate that Democrats can offer. He will be able to dramatically change the electoral map for Democrats which will in turn expand our majorities here in Congress, and help elect more Democrats at the state and local levels. Furthermore, I believe that Senator Obama is the Democrat who can unite our people, help heal our nation's wounds, improve our standing on the world stage, and steer our country in a new direction. What is especially exciting about Senator Obama's candidacy is its attraction to young and independent voters. Our Party cannot hope to continue our recent successes if we don't continue to attract new voters. Senator Obama has demonstrated the ability to draw a new map for Democrats by putting traditionally red states like Colorado, Virginia and North Carolina, and swing states like New Mexico, Missouri and Iowa in play. A recent Zogby poll has Senator Obama leading Senator McCain in every age demographic except for those over 65. That speaks volumes about which candidate represents our nation's future, and which represents our past. I admit I am over 65, but my support of Senator Obama is a vote for our children's and grandchildren's futures. This is a pivotal time for our Party, our nation and the world. This past weekend the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee made a decision to act in the interest of party unity, and now we must come together. Our Party's success going forward will depend in large measure upon how we treat each other between now and our national convention, how we appear to the nation during our national convention, and how we conduct the campaign after our national convention. Our Vice Presidential nominee will be introduced to the nation on the eve of the 45 Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, the historic petition to the nation for gender, ethnic and workplace equality. Our Presidential nominee will accept our Party's nomination on the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic call for a nation where we are all judged by 'the content of our character rather than the color of our skin.' Over the next several weeks, our Party will have an historic opportunity to transcend these issues that have plagued our nation since its founding and our Party for generations. All of us have roles to play in helping to unify this party and unite in support of our nominee. But united does not mean unanimous, united means recognizing and respecting some realities. And it is a reality that delegates determine the winner. No matter the outcome tonight, Senator Obama will lead in the delegate count and should be named the nominee. Any other outcome would require un-pledged delegates, who have the power and authority to do so, to reverse the results of those who played by the established rules and worked hard in the primaries and caucuses. This would be unwarranted and could make the nomination worthless. I believe the time has come for all un-pledged delegates to make their choices known, and I believe our best choice against a George Bush third term is Senator Barack Obama.
Now, there are still a lot of questions: do other superdelegates follow and if so how soon? Do they follow in time for tonight's post election announcement? The math is not that simple: Obama needs 41.5 more delegates to get to the magic 2118; Sen. Clinton is 1917.5 (I'm not getting the half-delegate thing — is that Michigan/Florida compromise at work? Anyway ...)
The decision to support Sen. Obama was obviously not just about the math, but also Mr. Clyburn's own history and belief and desires.
Also, a very interesting (I thought) conversation about a bridge building undertaking in Portland Oregon.
Read the New York Times piece that got us interested. Now, I would like to know what YOU think about that. Would YOU participate in that kind of conversation, and, if so, where are you in that story?
And, another issue we did not get to: gentrification is not always white pushing out black. Sometimes it's urban pushing out rural, which could easily be white pushing out white, and black middle class pushing out black working class. How do those dynamics play out? But as is so often the case, race becomes a metaphor for culture, class and everything else.
Finally, the MOCHAS go to the movies. Sex and the City — what do the moms say about the gal pal flick (since they are gal pals too, ya know)?
One of the moms made the connection to the concern many parents are raising about suggestive dancing among teens, a concern manifested most recently in Memphis, Tenn., at a school dance where kids were dancing to something called "Rape Dat Ho."
Read the story and check out the video.
Asra Nomani made the strong case that the overt sexuality glorified in films like SATC basically trickles down to the kids, and that we should take note of the effect its having. The other moms in the conversation were ... skeptical.
What do you think?