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Friday, June 06, 2008

Lessons learned this primary season

Shameless plug for my ed-op in this week's Triangle...

It's been a long, arduous trek the past five months, but finally the presidential primary season has come to a close. For Republicans, it was over months ago when Sen. John McCain emerged as the de facto nominee; for Democrats, the contest wrapped up June 3 as Sen. Barack Obama obtained the magic number of delegates to clinch the nomination. As of press time it was reported by the New York Times on June 5 that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is slated to concede the race June 7.

Critics have been calling for Clinton to drop out for quite some time now, and for a while she seemed to be clinging to the pipedream that she was "winning the popular vote."

There is no national total of the "popular vote" in the primaries. They are a mash-up of caucuses and primary elections, and the rules vary widely in each state. Every state is different and has the right to decide what works best for its residents, keeping in mind the regulations set forth by the Democratic National Committee. The goal of the primaries is not to determine the will of the American people; it is to determine the will of the Democratic Party in a given state, and in turn transmit that will via delegates to the national convention in August.

The only thing that matters in the primaries is the delegate count. It's not disenfranchisement; it's how the system works.