On Saturday, Washington held its caucuses. But they are also holding primaries on Feb. 19th. Say what?
From the NY Times:
While Democrats and Republicans are holding party caucuses on Saturday, people can also vote in a statewide primary on Feb. 19. Mail-in ballots for the primary, which are widely used, went out to voters last month. Voters can participate in both the caucuses and the primary. State officials have hoped the February primary, first approved in 1988, would allow more people to participate, but the parties control the awarding of delegates.
The Democrats will award 78 of their 97 delegates based on Saturday’s caucuses, with the rest determined by so-called super delegates, not the primary, as has been the practice for decades. Republicans offer a different twist. About half of their 40 delegates will be awarded at the caucuses, and most of the rest will be from the results of the primary. Oh, and Republican delegates assigned at the caucus can decide to switch to another candidate later.
“I describe it as a fluid process,” said Luke Esser, chairman of the Washington State Republican Party.
What? Does anyone understand this? I e-mailed Shawn for answers. She just moved out west and participated in her first caucus. She responded:
all i can figure out with this caucus thing is that there must be some sort of push by the state legislature to come around to a primary system because there's a primary vote on the 19th that counts for nothing. the democratic party is in charge and they are sticking by the caucus for now. we vote by mail in all elections here. mail! as much fun as i had yesterday, it really is an outmoded, undemocratic way to select representation. if you have to work, you are shit outta luck.
She also mentioned this tasty little tidbit.
calvin johnson gave a one minute speech in favor of voting undecided today at our presidential caucus. apparently he lives in my neighborhood. crazy. i'm done with sending messages no one pays attention to. plus, i like obama. take that, calvin. caucuses are bizarre.
I wrote back and asked for more info on everyone's favorite hot chocolate boy. She hit me back with more great stuff.
to cut him some slack. people come in, find their precinct and sign in, stating who they'll vote for. they tell people the tally. then you get together in candidate groups and pick one person to speak for one minute on your behalf for your candidate.
this is when people can decide to switch their vote. switch their vote! so, when we split up, calvin says, can we pick an person to speak on behalf of "other" to try to convince people to switch to "other." there were a few snickers, but i thought it was pretty awesome. this is before i had any idea who he was.
so, they go around, and the obama person stands on the table to give her spiel ("yes we can!" gag me.), the hillary person stands on the table to give her spiel ("i have a daughter, i want her to see a woman pres." i cut her some slack because she was not expecting to speak, for sure.), and then calvin stands on the table, i think he had to crouch down because he was taller than the ceiling, and states his name.
he's wearing knee-length rubber boots like he just took a little break from gardening to pop in. surprisingly enough, there were 16 undecideds (which would represent one delegate in our precinct, which would equal a whole lot less than nothing in the final delegate count) , and he pushed to get them all to stay that way (and anyone else that would like to join them) saying that would send a "message" to the government that we don't want to pander to republicans and the government needs to reform.
i'm fine with you using the bit, but don't call him an asshole or anything, i don't want him coming after me with a troop of baritones. plus, i always appreciate a dissenting non-slogan ridden opinion.
I love it! Don't worry Shawn, I'll have your back if Mr. Johnson comes after you with his deep scary indie rock voice.
Boo Obama! Boo Clinton! Hooray Undecided!
Clinton did have a snappy one liner the other day while campaigning in Washington. I'll give her credit where credit is due.
“When it comes to universal health care, my opponent is saying, ‘No, we can’t,’ ” Mrs. Clinton said. “Well, I say, yes we can, and yes we will, if we make the right decision in this election.”
I'm watching Obama speak right now. Brilliant stuff. I love the line about his cousin Dick Cheney and the bit about Republicans who come up to him and whisper that they support him and the line about how McCain wants to be in Iraq for 100 years and that is enough reason not to give him 4 years in the White House. Yet another brilliant Obama speech.
And Hillary? Um, she likes little Mexican boys?
3 days ago