Why Clinton: Winning the Numbers Game

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

A Clinton supporter and an Obama supporter from the College Democrats were invited to explain why they support the candidate they do. In the below column, Doug Gilchrist-Scott explains his support for Clinton. See Why Obama here.

As a American, I have been appalled by eight years of mismanagement of this country. Every day, we hear of more things going wrong; “the economy approaches recession,” “more lives lost in Iraq,” and so on. Our country has lost faith in its government, and it needs change in order to inspire and unite the American people. For this reason, I support Hillary Clinton. (Ohhh. You weren’t expecting that, were you?)

As a young white male Democrat, everyone assumes that I am an Obama supporter, and I understand why. Despite nearly identical policies, Obama is much more popular among young voters here at Swarthmore and across the country. I believe that this had occurred because many young voters view their support of Obama as a fundamental rejection of the political paradigm that has greatly harmed our country. As a result, we hear demands for “change” and messages of “hope.” I agree that change is desperately needed in the next presidency, and if you think about it, Hillary Clinton is the candidate that will deliver it.

An essential first step in reviving America is winning the presidency, and Clinton is better suited to do that. It was less than 8 years ago that Democrats difficultly learned the truth of winning the presidency; it’s a numbers game. Swing states, in particular Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida, will decide the 2008 Presidential Election. These states—filled with blue-collar and elderly voters—support Clinton over Obama. Primary polls and results among Democrats as well as head to head polls among all registered voters reflect this reality. John McCain is a tough opponent, and this is an election Democrats can not afford to loose.

Finally, we must that remember change is a hollow ideal if it is not carried out. Clinton will deliver the change that this country needs. She has spent years fighting for the uninsured and her healthcare plan will ensure that all Americans have coverage, established relationships with foreign leaders that will allow her to repair our tarnished foreign reputation, and spent more time working on federal legislation. I applaud Senator Obama for his great work in the senate, but I have no doubt that Hillary Clinton is better able to institute the reforms that our country desperately needs. The time for change in America is now, and with Hillary Clinton as president, “Yes we will.”


  1. For all of the initial enthusiasm that Obama’s campaign garnered, it is clear that voter support for the candidate from Chicago as peaked and is on the decline.

    Otherwise, how can it be explained that Obama can’t close the deal with Democratic voters?

    National daily tracking polls of likely Democratic voters show that Clinton and Obama are tied, or that Clinton even enjoys a slight lead.

    Obama—who initially sold himself as a bi-partisan, above the fray, candidate of “hope” and “new politics”—is now in the trenches, throwing mud like the rest of them.

    Moreover, the questions raised by the video tapes close Obama friend and advisor the Rev. Jeremiah Wright will only be made more poignant by the internet publication last night of the audiobook Dreams From My Father, read aloud by the author himself—Barack Obama.

    This audio tape of Obama’s autobiography in his own voice is laced with profanity and controversial ideas—including Obama’s use of the F-word and the N-word, not just while quoting others but also while speaking in his own voice.

    The Obama candidacy has been mortally wounded, and additional questions about his fitness for the office of the presidency arise weekly.

  2. I have been following the democratic and republican primaries thoroughly for a long time. I am neither. This is the first article that has actualy appealed to me considerably. I agree whole heartedly on all the points made. You need deliverance more than dreams, you need execution of plans more than the nebulous path to a plan, you need to be very very thick skinned to be at the top. Hillary exhibits all of the above.

  3. I disagree. You’re appalled by Bush’s years of mismanagement; why would you expect different from Hillary, who has so badly mismanaged her presidential campaign? Bush has demonstrated that he is a divisive leader, attacking or belittling those who disagree with him; Hillary uses similar tactics, even to the point of attacking Obama by praising McCain. Bush has been an incredibly secretive president; Hillary is also incredibly secretive for so public a figure. Finally, Bush is a president who favors the few; Hillary’s focus on superdelegates and “important” states shows that she, too, is of this mindset. We don’t need the Democratic version of Bush in the White House. We need real leadership.

    What America needs now, even more than change, is unity. Hillary cannot give us that. Obama can. Bill Clinton’s actions effectively gave us eight years of Bush. I hope Hillary’s actions don’t give us 4+ years of McCain.

  4. What is your opinion of the preemptive negativity officially espoused by the Clinton campaign, such as the “kitchen sink” fusillade?

    What would your reaction be if Clinton won the popular vote and had the most pledged delegates, but the unpledged “super” delegates voided the public voice and handed the nomination to Obama?

  5. She should have thought about how to win this election Months ago. Instead Hillary sat back on her seat and waited. Waiting for her entitlement check. No Hillary to little too late and Typically gutter politics which makes her look bad.

  6. I believe you are saying that the reasons you are voting for Clinton are a) because you believe she will be a change from the Bush administration, b) you believe she is going to win through numbers, c) she has “experience”

    Point A is also applicable to Obama and point B is basically stating that you would vote for someone merely because you believe they are going to win. Point C, which I believe is the only valid statement to vote for Clinton as opposed to Obama, is still problematic. While you may assume that her time spent as the first lady and senator has given her an advantage over Obama, there is little evidence that her work on healthcare has been greatly successful. The healthcare plan did not receive enough support for a floor vote in either the House or the Senate, although both chambers were controlled by Democrats, and proposal was abandoned in September of 1994 – Wikipedia.

    Which foreign leaders has she met with again?

    I still do not believe there have been strong arguments in favor of voting Clinton over Obama

  7. If you support Hillary, there’s a group on campus for you. Swarthmore Students for Hillary meets Wednesdays at 9 PM in Kohlberg Coffee Bar.

  8. If you want the nation to continue in this free fall , Hillary is definitely the right choice. If she steals this nomination from Obama , God forbid that she becomes President because under her leadership the free fall will pick up speed.

  9. Dear Jeremiah 3.25.08 @ 5pm:

    The reaction would be the same.

    The DNC rules (the same rules that say the Michigan and Florida primaries do not count) provide that in the even that no one cantidate receives at least 2,000 pledged delegates, then the super-delegate votes also count.

    If the intent was for the super-delegates to automatically vote for the cantidate with the most pledged delegates, then the rule would simply provide that the cantidate with the most pledged delegates by the convention would be the nominee. But the DNC rules don’t say that.

    Second, if there is no winner after the first ballot, then the pledged delegates are released for their “pledge” and can vote for any cantidate they want on the second ballot. That is the point where things might get really interesting.

    These are the DNC rules, like it or not.

  10. Stephen,

    I like it not. This is an inherently flawed system, and the current situation is the first occasion since the rules were enacted that exemplifies the flaw.

    In my opinion, the DNC unpledged delegate system is a cross between being republican (small ‘r’) and fascist. Given the actual ratio of elected office holders to unelected party officials & “add-ons” (only 36%, 285, are elected officials), it would be a nigh on fascist process if the public vote comes in and the party officials respond “well, isn’t that cute”, while nominating the other candidate.

  11. “We should judge a person by their actions and not their words.”

    That is the canned response from Clinton supporters when discussing the issue of Obama & Rev. Wright.

    So why is Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright being judged on his words rather than his actions of 36 years of international ministerial service that grew a congregation from 87 to nearly 10,000 and garnered him numerous awards including three honorary doctorates and three presidential commendations?

  12. I support Hillary, but TruPatriot’s comment isn’t worthy of inclusion on a site that’s supposed to be about productive debate. Saying that Obama “believes in Islamic” (which doesn’t even make any sense) makes everybody look bad.

  13. I know that the gazette “reserves the right to remove any comment” but almost no comments should really be deleted. It’s seems that AQ was responding to a post that many would find distasteful (even offensive, although I of course haven’t seen the post), but I think that it deserves to be on the board anyway.

    Is there a site where you detail why posts are deleted? I’d be interested to see it…

  14. Dear Jeremiah:

    I agree it is a dumb system.

    The state primaries should be winner take all.

    The state allocation of delegates should be by popular vote and not caucus.

    Or better yet, all primaries should be on the same day and the nominee decided by the total popular vote, ditto with the general election in November (President decided by popular vote).

    But thems the rules.

    And since I dislike Obama in the extreme and like Hillary I am not complaning too loudly at the moment.

    But follow the existing rules the DNC must this go around.

    What do you expect from an organization that put a loser like John Dean in charge of itself? Dumb party rules like these.

    You voters in PA have the power to keep Hillary in this race and mabe, just maybe, keep a bitter Michelle Obama (who really does not like America all that much) out of the White House.

  15. Stephen,

    I would consider it deplorable if the situation were reversed and Obama was championing a, admittedly by-the-book, fascist process to secure the nomination. This set of rules was put on the books just as Howard Dean was getting involved in politics.

    This setup isn’t inadvertently fascistic. It was purposefully instituted in order to give the party leaders control over the nomination.

    You were doing so well until you threw that trite barb in at the end.

  16. The Limbaugh story is mostly myth. He came out with that story after it was exposed that some republicans had been doing just the opposite of what Limbaugh now claims. Republicans have been voting in large numbers for Barack Obama in the DEMOCRATIC open primaries, and gaming the DEMOCRATIC caucuses from day one.

    Limbaugh is using reverse psychology on you to cover up.

    The REPUBLICANS have been trying to choose the weakest DEMOCRATIC candidate to run against in November. And also to prevent the possibility of a Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama DREAM TEAM match up.

    I am really surprised the media has not picked this fact up with all their experts, and analyst. It’s as plain as the nose on your face. This is why Obama has mostly only been able to win red state caucuses, and primaries. And no big blue states primaries.

    If Obama is the democratic nominee for the national election in November he will be slaughtered. Because the Republican vote cheating help will suddenly evaporate.

    Hillary Clinton has actually already won the democratic nomination if you remove the republican vote fraud. Does this really surprise anyone after the 2000 and 2004 elections. 🙁

    They have no respect for the constitution, or the democratic process. They have no SHAME!!!


  17. i don’t like wal-mart.
    i like organized labor rights.

    i don’t like politics, “favors,” and more politics.
    i like someone who is an outsider, not as caught up in the cut-throat dc game.

    i don’t like failed health care plans.
    i like feasible plans.

    i’m not a fan of all the vague “hope” and “change” rhetoric, but i think that overall obama would be the less polarizing (and more electable) candidate to ensure that the republicans, hobgoblins, the empire will not continue to taint this nation with neo-fascist ideologies under the guise of evangelical christianity.

  18. Clinton seemed like a decent candidate, but then her bitterness and the extent to which she is willing to go to get the nomination is just disgusting.
    Plus, she’s sold out to corporate big boys, including the health care industry:
    Oh, and she lies! Oh man is she willing to lie, to show anti-muslim sentiment (directed at Obama, a christian) through propaganda, or to aggrandize her ego (http://thepage.time.com/obama-camp-memo-on-clinton-saying-she-misspoke/).

    Don’t get me wrong here, I am an international student and I do not have as much at stake as the rest of you, but I can’t help but notice the dirty politics. I’m no Obama supporter, but Clinton supported the invasion of Iraq and also the recent plans to invade Iran. I see Bush #2 coming.

  19. Right, so the big problem here is the electability argument. Focusing on three states is a losing strategy; just ask presidents Gore and Kerry. What we really need is a fifty state strategy – this forces the Republicans to play defense in their home territory. Would Clinton pursue a 50-state strategy? She has not in the primaries so far. Her campaign has consistently written off states because they are caucus states, or too black, or too upscale. (And as a result, those states have voted overwhelmingly for Obama.) How is she going to win the votes of those states which her campaign has already insulted?

    For the record, I think that if Clinton is the nominee, she’ll probably win. The question is, by how much she would win, and by how much would Obama win? I’d say that Obama would win more states because he would go after states like Virginia or North Carolina or Kansas. If you don’t show up in those states, how can you win them? Also, coattails are important. We have a 2-seat majority in the Senate and can’t get anything done. That must change. Obama has coattails, Hillary generally does not. You look at the facts: during the Clinton administration, the Democrats ended with fewer seats in Congress than they started. We know Obama has coattails: there’s a Democrat in Hastert’s old seat now because Obama campaigned for him.

    Oh yeah, and about that three state strategy: so blue collar folks and the elderly will support Clinton over Obama. Yeah, that’s true. Please give me a lick of evidence that they will support Clinton over John McCain, especially considering that the media is in love with John McCain and will be very favorable to him – and considering that the media loves their Clinton scandals. Tuzla comes to mind.

  20. I’m not saying I support Obama (I don’t really support anyone), but do you people really want this country to be run by a 2-family dynasty? Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton…. not to mention that she’s not a strong woman – rather, she’s weak, power hungry, arrogant, and immature.

  21. Jeremiah:

    Trite or no its how I fee after reading Michelle Obama’s Princeton senior thesis (Read the full thesis here: http://blogonaut-blogonaut.blogspot.com/2008/03/princeton-harvard-educated-michelle.html), after reading coverage of an Ohio interview wherein this Princeton and Harvard grad who prospered on corporate boards and at Sidney & Austin, LLP bitterly told the working-class not to send their kids to college and to urge the kids to avoid corporate America (http://blogonaut-blogonaut.blogspot.com/2008/03/michelle-obama-urges-poor-to-avoid.html) and after seeing a 20 year very close friend of the Obama’s (the Rev. Wright) scream “God damn America” and “US of KKK”. (Watch, Best of Jeremiah Wright’s Sermons Pt. 1; Best of Jeremiah Wright’s Sermons Pt. 2, left margin links here: http://blogonaut-blogonaut.blogspot.com/).

    The thought of Michelle Obama in the White House just really bugs me (sorry).

    And we don’t know enough about the true beliefs of Barack (although in the books-on-tape version of his first book, recorded in his own voice, he throws around the N-word just like Reverend Wright).

    And now I find out about one of three personal spiritual advisors listed on the campaign website, the Reverend James Meeks, who also preaches loud and clear his racist and anti-American views.

  22. The rest of Michelle’s quote is quite relevant.
    You know, become teachers. Work for the community. Be social workers. Be a nurse. Those are the careers that we need, and we’re encouraging our young people to do that.

    Are minorities not allowed to speak out about the (not-so-) latent bigotry that still exists?

    As for “anti-American” views, loudly & brashly criticizing the actions of elected leaders is a distinctly American view.

  23. Dear Jeremiah:

    Yes, Wright (and anyone else) has the right to express the view that the US is a “KKK” state, “God damn America”, and that “rich white people” are to blame. I just prefer to not have a President of the United States whose closest of friends tolerates those views.

    Second, I prefer to not have a first lady who thinks that everyone looked at her funny at Princeton because she is black, who was not really proud of America until 2008, and who prospered financially not only due to her Princeton undergraduate and Harvard law degree but by being a partner in one of the largest corporate law firms in the US (Sidney & Austin) and her seat on several corporate boards—but at the same time (hypocritically) tells Ohio’s working class not to send their kids to college or to work for corporate America.

    It is not a free speech issue, it is a who-do-I-want in the White House issue.

  24. What happened to – “we should judge a person by their actions and not their words”?

    People seek political office for one of two reasons.
    1) They want to ride the gravy train.
    2) They want to change flaws in the system.

    Type 1 people will say & do anything as means to an end.

    Type 2 people will have radical views, and ties to people with even harder radical views.

    Michelle is encouraging people to seek careers helping others, rather than focusing solely on money-making careers. Isn’t a sense of societal responsibility & striving for well-being over personal avarice a tenet of the Democratic Party?

    Is it better to be a hedge fund manager / partner in a high-power law firm / corporate executive officer rather than a nurse / teacher / social worker?

    You are entitled to your opinions, but I am also entitled to peel away your sophistic rationalizations with my own opinions.

  25. Dear Jeremiah:

    I will give you the last word on this string, PROVIDED that you read the last 6 posts on my blog:


    Then, I leave it up to you to report to your fellow classmates your unreserved views.

    In any event, keep questioning and thinking.



  26. jacksmith, how do you know that what you’re saying is true? Just from your own interpretation of the events?

    “I prefer to not have a first lady who thinks that everyone looked at her funny at Princeton because she is black…”
    If this is the truth (which I don’t much doubt; let’s not pretend racism has been completely eradicated), what do you prefer that Michelle think? Are there not due criticisms of the social and racial environments that we experience?

    I think Jeremiah more correctly interprets her statement in Ohio as encouraging people to find careers in helping others. I don’t think she is pulling a political maneuver when she endorses this altruism, and neither do I think she would want to enforce a policy that disallows Ohio’s students to attend college. She just wants people to think about altruism and cooperation, and I do not think that her involvement with some of corporate America precludes her own altruism and goodwill.

    I do not entirely agree with everything Michelle Obama says, but this is a small matter because she is not the one running for president. I am sure that Barack has a mind of his own, and that while he may agree with Michelle at times, he comes to his own conclusions about the state of affairs in the U.S., what problems must be solved, and how to solve them. The focus ought to be on the candidates.

  27. Barack Obama is the person who can actually generate a real change in both mistaken policies: foreign and domestic driven by current President George Walker Bush and his Republican and oil’s seeker administration headed by Dick Cheney nicknamed Halliburton.

    We need a person who is not shy or ambivalent, in the other hand, visionary and that had taken brave and firm positions, as did Obama before starting the illegal invasion and subsequent no ending occupation of Iraq without the consent of the United Nations Organization Security Council, when he warned us of the possible consequences for the economy and the welfare of our society, which today are made each day more palpable.

    Ask yourself; Have lowered the prices of fuel and gasoline since then? Has improved the economy and the family budget covers their monthly expenses? Do you and your family feel safer at home, in your community, in schools, at airports, universities, Etc.. ,after they have crushed the phrase “National Security” time after time, and supposedly improved the safety of us creating the “Patriot Act” and the office of Homeland Security? Do Freedom and civil rights of citizens are better protected now with these measures and agencies Bush has created? Do you agree with the concept of pre-emptive war and tortures for extra-judicial interrogations in secret prisons in Europe and other parts of the world like in Guantanamo Bay’s U. S. Naval Base, Cuba and Abu Ghraib, Iraq ? Does the world have better perception of United States of America and ours athletes, tourists, students and residents in others countries feel more secure? Does the issue of immigrants is better served? Are there fewer children of Latino descent without parents? Are there more people possibilities to pay on time their mortgages and have safer homes? Are there more people with the right to access quality health care, or more than 47 million inhabitants are without that right, while making genocidal wars in the other hemisphere of the planet at trillions costs as well sending space’s shuttles frequently?. Had improved education for all? In general, America’s society, does feel more secure, without fear of terrorism after the war? If the answers to the above questions is a resounding NO. It must be and can be changed…

    If you want this state of things does not reach a point of no return, you must exercise your right to vote in the Democratic primary and later in general election in nonovember by the only person that represents your feeling and hopes; that is Barack Obama. Perhaps this great opportunity of true change will never be presented to us again. And, finally, support our troops by voting with the man that wants to bring them home soon. God Bless America!

  28. Some of us, in light of recent events (e.g., Obama close friend the Reverend Wright’s anti-American, racist, and anti-Jewish views, bitter speeches by Michelle Obama, Obama’s initial denials of authoring a radical liberal survey–until a version with his handwriting on it surfaced) are more suspicious of an Obama candidacy.

    Some of us believe that Wright’s views that America is responsible for the deaths of 9/11 (expressed just 5 days after the attacks) or that the United States is the “US of the KKKA”, or that American should be God Damned, or that Israel has no right to exist, warranted stronger condemnation by Obama and wonder how this 20 year friendship could continue (through today) without Obama being at least sympathetic to those views.

    Pennsylvania voters have a unique opportunity in American history to either keep Hillary Clinton in the game or eliminate her candidacy from the process.

    Please weigh your decision on April 22 carefully.

  29. The issue that concerns me is global warming. Did you know that Obama voted for Bush 2005 Energy Policy Act, a sweeping, oil-friendly energy bill that gave lots of presents to Bushes friend’s in the oil industry. Environmentalist strong opposed it. Hillary voted AGAINST it.

    Hillary has involved plans to tackle global warming and energy independence. She even went to the oil companies in HOuston and said it time you became energy companies and switched to renewables. She’s talking about creating 5 million green-collared jobs.

    Also Obama in his ads says he doesn’t take money from oil companies, but according to the Center for Responsible Politics he taken over $200,000.

  30. Dear Jeremiah:
    Re: Comment: “There is a significant difference between official donations from the oil companies and personal donations from the employees. To conflate the two is a parsing of the English language on par with the usual rhetoric from the Clinton camp.”

    Not so.

    First, it is not lawful for the oil companies to give directly to Obama. So this does not reflect any particular virtue on Obma’s part.

    Second, these are $2,300 contributions from BigOil executives–i.e. the men/women who control the oil companies, not mere “employees” who are not “the company”.

    Obama has mislead with his claims that he takes no lobbyist money or big oil money because he takes big dollars from the CEO’s and other executives of both oil companies and partners in lobbying firms AND from the CEO’s of the companies what EMPLOY the lobbyists.

    So does Hillary, but she does not claim otherwise.

  31. Dear Jeremiah:
    Re: Comment: “There is a significant difference between official donations from the oil companies and personal donations from the employees.”

    I disagree.

    First, it is not lawful for the oil companies to give directly to Obama. So this does not reflect any particular virtue on his part.

    Second, these are $2,300 contributions from BigOil executives–i.e. the men/women who control the oil companies, not mere “employees” who are not “the company”.

    Obama has mislead with his claims that he takes no lobbyist money or big oil money because he takes big dollars from the CEO’s and other executives of both.

    So does Hillary, but she does not claim otherwise.

  32. Not so fast:


    Fact Check: It’s true Obama doesn’t take money directly from oil companies because he can’t. Corporations are prohibited from contributing directly to federal candidates and have been since 1907.

    IN ADDITION, watch this network news analysis on the Obama claims re lobbyiest money:

    The point is NOT that Hillary is the more truthful would be nominee, she is not. Rather, Obama has been revealed as just another calculating, word parsing politician. So we need to decide who will 1. best defeat McCain and 2. Solve the #1 issue in PA and elsewhere: The economy.

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