1 Caminho, 2 Vitórias

4 06 2008

Paulo Pereira de Almeida

Vice – Presidente da Direcção do Instituto Transatlântico Democrático

No momento em que o candidato à nomeação democrata Barack Obama parece ter assegurado o número de delegados suficientes para ser a escolha do Partido Democrata na disputa de 4 de Novembro, a Gallup – uma das mais prestigiadas empresas de sondagens mundiais – dá conta de que a base de apoio de Hilary Clinton permanece inalterada de há 1 ano a esta parte: 74% dos eleitores democratas continuam a ter uma imagem favorável da candidata.

Além disso, existe a ideia – sociologicamente comprovada – de que a Senadora de Nova-iorquina é a única capaz de apelar ao voto dos americanos de classe média, e também a única com capacidade para dar ao Partido Democrata uma vitória nos chamados Swing States, ou seja, nos Estados em que não existe um claro vencedor nas eleições de Novembro, isto – é claro – por oposição aos chamados Safe States, onde já existe uma probabilidade muito elevada de ser o Partido Democrata ou o Partido Republicano a saírem vencedores.

Acrescente-se ainda que – de acordo com os dados de sondagens recentes – cerca de 20% dos eleitores democratas dos Estados do Ohio, Pennsylvania e West Virgínia se inclinam não dar o seu voto a Obama, no caso de uma eleição disputada entre o Senador do Illinois e o candidato republicano, o Senador do Arizona John McCain, o cenário mais que provável neste momento.

Por tudo isto, um facto parece iniludível: ou Barack Obama convida directamente Hilary Clinton para sua Vice-presidente – e temos um dream-ticket democrata em Novembro –, ou procura apelar de forma indirecta à base eleitoral da Senadora de Nova-iorquina, convidando um nome mais obscuro mas eficaz como Ted Stricklan (Governador do Estado do Ohio, que venceu em 2006 com mais de 60% dos votos) ou Evan Bayh (eleito Senador, em 1999, pelo Estado de Indiana com mais de 64% dos votos).

Independentemente dos desenvolvimentos e das negociações entre os staff das campanhas, o balanço que agora se pode fazer desta campanha é – em meu entender – perfeitamente claro: trata-se de um momento histórico, e Obama é o primeiro negro na história dos Estados Unidos da América a declarar-se como vencedor da nomeação presidencial do Partido Democrata, 5 meses depois do Caucus do Estado do Iowa o ter transformado no primeiro homem negro da história dos EUA a vencer essa eleição.

1 caminho possível para os democratas, é verdade, mas ainda 2 hipóteses de vitória…


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6 responses

4 06 2008
José Gonçalves

Excelente artigo.
Mas poderão os EUnidos aguentar tanta inovação em Novembro?

4 06 2008
Pedro Abreu

Interessante a tese. Mas como será em Novembro? Duas vitórias possíveis, só se forem a dos republicanos e a dos dems. Não é claro que os norte-americanos votem num negro e numa mulher ao mesmo tempo…

5 06 2008
Gonçalo mendes

Excelente artigo. Vamos ver quem votará no Obama…

Black lawmakers emotional about Obama’s success
By JOSEPHINE HEARN | 6/4/08 7:01 PM EST Text Size:

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) was about to enter his Capitol Hill office on Wednesday afternoon when a tourist from Miami rushed up to him.

“I was watching Barack last night, and I just kept thinking, ‘What would Dr. King think?’” the tourist, Larry Ellery, told Lewis expectantly.

As the only living person to have spoken at the lectern the day the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech, Lewis was perhaps the best person to answer a question that occupied the minds of many Americans.

Lewis touched Ellery’s arm and paused.

“He would have been very, very pleased,” Lewis said. “He probably would have said, ‘Hallelujah!’”

On Capitol Hill, as across the country Wednesday, African-Americans reflected on Illinois Democratic Sen. Barack Obama’s historic rise as the first black presidential nominee to lead a major political party. They noted that only a few decades ago, African-Americans were fighting across large swaths of the South for basic human rights, hardly pondering the possibility that one of them might soon lead the country.

Many black lawmakers said they were elated at Obama’s victory.

Many said they never thought such a day would come.

Many cried.

“If someone had told me this would be happening now, I would have told them they were crazy, out of their mind, they didn’t know what they were talking about,” said Lewis, who was president of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee when he stood with King on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. “I just wish the others were around to see this day. … To the people who were beaten, put in jail, were asked questions they could never answer to register to vote, it’s amazing.”

Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), who grew up in segregated South Carolina and rose to the majority whip position last year, said he was so overcome with emotion Tuesday night that he left a victory party and had to watch Obama’s speech alone.

“I thought this day would come, but I didn’t think I’d live to see it,” Clyburn said. “I got home, and I was so emotional I couldn’t feel myself. I was numb.”

Clyburn said he was disappointed that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) didn’t concede but then added: “Nobody can dampen this for me.”

Obama will formally accept the Democratic nomination on Aug. 28, exactly 45 years to the day after King’s speech and 55 years to the day after 14-year-old Emmett Till was murdered in Mississippi in a brutal act of violence that spurred the modern civil rights movement.

Throughout the day Wednesday, African-Americans offered up historical yardsticks to measure what is happening now: 40 years since King’s assassination; 43 years since the passage of the Voting Rights Act; 60 years since the late Sen. Strom Thurmond left the Democratic Party over the issue of race, which began the Democrats’ transformation from the party of Jim Crow to the party of Barack Obama.

At least five African-Americans before Obama have mounted serious campaigns for president. The first was then-Rep. Shirley Chisholm in 1972. The most successful was the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who won 30 percent of the delegate votes at the 1988 Democratic National Convention. The Rev. Al Sharpton made a notable run in 2004, as did former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun. Republican Alan Keyes campaigned in 1996 and 2000.

5 06 2008
ALBERTO

Possivelmente, HC vai apelar ao apoio a Barack Obama e à unidade do partido- o que ela já deveria ter feito no dia 3-, mas subsiste ainda algumas opções, designadamente:
. suspender as actividades e manter o controlo dos seus delegados à convenção democrata de Agosto, assegurando a sua visibilidade, de modo a promover a sua dita bandeira pela reforma do sistema de saúde;
. libertar os seus delegados para que apoiem Obama e terminar incondicionalmente a campanha.
Esta última posição seria a mais forte, aliás, foi esta a posição inteligente dos candidatos republicanos que muito cedo decidiram apoiar MC.
Porém, a ambição política dos Clinon(s) vai ,agora, para a conquista, sem pudor, do lugar de VP, dado que o de Presidente desvaneceu-se .
Finalmente, isto de Obama ser o primeiro «negro» na história dos Estados Unidos da América ….não acrescenta absolutamente nada, são apenas questiúnculas raciais do passado.

6 06 2008
Joana Dias

Uma análise interessante. Afinal as mulheres ainda não conseguiram desta vez…

Why the Rules Mattered In the Nomination Race
U.S. Politics, Political Campaigns, Elections

Michael P. McDonald, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Governance Studies

The Brookings Institution

June 04, 2008 —
Hillary Clinton was not ready on day one.
The autopsies of her defeat for the Democratic nomination contest all point to a series of early blunders by her campaign. Her campaign plan was simple: leverage her name recognition, early money lead, and organization to win the Super-Tuesday contests, thereby wrapping up the Democratic nomination in early February. As the inevitable winner, she could be the centrist candidate on the Iraq war and tout her experience as a problem solver.

But her over-confident and over-priced campaign consultants failed to recognize that in a “change” election, caucus attenders were not excited by an Iraq war centrist who also happened to be a Washington insider. Clinton’s lack of a plan to effectively contest the caucuses allowed Barack Obama to win what would be the all important delegate race, and more importantly, give him the mantle of momentum while she appeared mired in the mud at a crucial mid-February stage of the campaign.

But she was ready on day two.

She hit her stride late in the game by impressively winning a series of primary contests. All the more remarkable: she did so on a shoestring election-to-election budget while the media wrote her off as a spoiler. With a newfound voice that emphasized she was a populist who would fight for the people, her new message resonated particularly well as the economy continued to falter.

Unfortunately, by the time she retooled her message and got rid of the people who had driven her campaign into the ditch— campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle and chief strategist Mark Penn—it was already too late. Obama had built a nearly insurmountable lead in the delegate count.

It is here that the rules matter.

If states had not moved up or “frontloaded” the date of their primaries and caucuses, under the misimpression that doing so would give them a greater voice in the 2008 nomination, Clinton might be the Democratic nominee.

She would have received more delegates from Florida and Michigan, two states that she would have likely won if all Democratic candidates had vigorously campaigned, but was denied a full slate because these states violated party rules by holding their elections too early. Counting these contests was important for her delegate count and to her argument that she had won more popular votes than Obama.

If states had not frontloaded their primaries and caucuses, she would have recovered from her early stumbles before it was too late. She would have minimized damage from her disastrous February, when Obama racked up an impressive string of victories even in Virginia, where she might have done better given her later strength.

The irony is that Clinton was expected to benefit from frontloading. Only a candidate with name recognition, money, and organization could compete. Lesser candidates like Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, Bill Richardson and even John Edwards would be quickly weeded out of the field, leaving her with only one real opponent to dispense with.

The lesson is that frontloading does not well serve the nomination process. Running for president is an unrehearsed drill. Mistakes will be made. Candidates become better as they learn how to campaign and to craft messages that work. Democratic Party leaders will undoubtedly look hard over the next four years at what steps can be taken to even out the flow of the nomination contests.

While these lessons may resound loudly for Democrats, they apply equally well to Republicans. Democrats permitted the process to play out over a longer time by awarding delegates proportionately; Republicans brought their nomination to a faster close by awarding delegates by winner-take-all. John McCain became the inevitable winner of his party’s nomination without even winning a state’s vote majority before his opponents dropped like flies.

While Republicans have delighted in the continued fight among the Democrats, McCain has been in a holding pattern since winning his nomination. Unable to use his time effectively to make headway with the American public, he has incurred problems in his own party. As evidence, 30 percent of South Dakota and Montana Republican primary voters registered a protest vote by voting for someone else.

Perhaps McCain won his party’s nomination too soon. He lost to George Bush in 2000 and has yet to demonstrate that he can run an effective general election campaign. He would have benefited from being more strongly tested, making more mistakes, and learning from them in the primary season. Now, he and his campaign will have to learn on the job in the general election, while they face, in Obama, an opponent who has been tempered in his party’s nomination fire stoked by Clinton.

Plenty of time remains for McCain to make his mistakes and for Obama to make more—and for both to recover before November. Campaigns often become so knee-jerk reactive to criticisms of any mistake that they fail to recognize the value in the lessons that may be learned. The primary election season is thus a valuable period for candidates to plumb their strengths and shore up their weaknesses, and we need to find a way to restore it as such.

19 06 2008
Joaquim Alves

Parece-me um análise muito interessante

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