“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”
Hunter S. Thompson.
My guess is that the late Hunter S. Thompson would have loved the current Democratic primary. I mean, when did we ever have a political race so strange that the Ku Klux Klan endorsed a black candidate for president, because, as much as they hate black people, they hate the other candidate even more? Thompson probably would have covered the Ohio primary from Klan headquarters in Marion, Ohio.
Thompson loved the political horse race, once writing about politics and journalism as “worse for you than heroin, and twice as hard to quit.” So as this strange Democratic primary, with two candidates running neck and neck, seesaws to an unpredictable and possibly explosive finish, the RockThrower blog is offering an absurd but effective plan for resolving the battle between Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama for the Democratic nomination. We’re calling it the Hunter S. Thompson Memorial Coin Toss Solution. Thompson, a lifelong handicapper of politics surely would approve.
Here is how it would work. Following the Pennsylvania Primary, should there be a difference of less than 200 delegates separating Clinton and Obama in their quest for the nomination, the candidates would agree to participate in a coin toss to determine the outcome of the race. The winner of the coin toss would be the candidate for President, the loser would agree to serve as Vice President. It could be on national TV. Maybe Al Gore could flip the coin.
I know, I know, its ridiculous. It’s trivial. It’s absurd. But it also might be the best way to resolve this mess. Think about it for a minute. First, what could be fairer – a coin toss gives both parties an equal chance to win. And its not like we are talking about a difference between Barak Obama and lets say some Republican nutcase like, oh, President Bush. Obama and Clinton are very similar in their approach to policy and both are well liked by Democratic voters, with several polls showing that each would be acceptable to the others supporters should they win the nomination. It would also ensure that Clinton and Obama team up to run against John McCain, a combination that many Democrats describe at their “dream ticket.” The “Coin Toss” can also help avoid a bruising battle within the Democratic party that may leave one side feeling “ripped off” and result in major voting blocks sitting out the election.
A coin toss solution is not without precedent. A dead woman won re-election to a school board in rural Alaska after her opponent lost a coin flip meant to break an electoral tie. In 2006, the Democratic Primary race for Congressional District 37 in Alaska between incumbent Representative Carl Moses and challenger Bryce Edgmon was settled by a coin toss. And in Illinois, citing state law requiring the state election board to break ties by lottery, Judge Francis Barth specifically ordered that the contest be decided ''by lot'' in a race for the Illinois state legislature. And a coin toss is considered legal under the election laws of many states.
Even in the current presidential race, a coin toss has already been a deciding factor in a state primary. According to the Austin American Statesman, Obama supporter, Courtney Enriquez said the Texas caucus she attended was split exactly between Clinton and Obama, but the precinct had 27 delegates. So after consulting the campaigns and the Texas Democratic Party, caucus leaders tossed a coin and Obama won, giving him 14 of the precinct’s delegates to Clinton’s 13. If it was good enough for Obama in Texas, it ought to be good enough for him in deciding the Democratic nomination.
In a normal election year I’d say that a coin toss was ridiculous, but this is anything but a normal year. This is a year so weird that extraordinary measures are required. And as Thompson would say, “when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” Support the coin toss resolution!
If you liked Bush, your gonna love McCain. If McCain wins it will be four more years of the same old thing. Geez, if I am going to have to listen to more speeches like that one last night I will have to drink more, a lot more!
I think the Democratic Primary has been a blast. This is what democracy is supposed to be about. What’s the rush to pick a candidate – Hell -- I can’t even make up my own mind about who should be the nominee. I say on to Pennsylvania. I’m even wiling to rerun the races in Florida and Michigan. The Race between Barak and Hillary will dominate news coverage, organize activists and generate enthusiasm among voters. All that boring old white guy is going to be able to do is talk about what other boring, sleazy, braindead Republican he is going to pick as his vice president.
Hillary Clinton kicked Barak Obama’s ass last night in Ohio. Jerome Armstrong of MyDD reports that “"Obama won a total of 5 counties, and lost in 82 counties. Even though he's able to rack up a large number of urban black voters he did terrible among white voters, winning just 34 percent. Clinton says “as Ohio goes, so goes the nation.” Well, she may be right, but the reality is that Ohio is going to hell in a handbasket. Ohio voters are clearly in desperate straights and responded to Clinton’s economic message. The Los Angeles Times reports that in exit polls, voters who were anxious about family finances or the economy favored Clinton over Obama.
Bill Clinton and Al Gore for Hillary? Apparently banned from any stage in which his wife is on, Bill Clinton looks a little lonely on the campaign trail. Today he is with the cows in Wyoming. Maybe the Clinton forces can get Al Gore to join him in the pick up truck - O.K. it can be a hybrid pickup -- to keep him company. Seriously, about the most important thing the Clinton team could do right now is to get Al Gore to endorse Hillary and hit the campaign trail.
The Coin Flip Petition. OK, so lets say that Clinton and Obama come out of Pennsylvania with less than 100 delegates separating them. Rather than have some big backroom battle that tears the party apart, I say the candidates should agree to a coin toss to decide the nomination. The winner gets to be president, the loser gets VP. What could be more fair? Sign the RockThrower Democratic Presidential Candidate CoinFlip petition by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org today!
I'll be kind and just say that the members of the RockThrower Index got it wrong, badly. Respondents said Obama would win in Texas and Ohio, and that Clinton should drop out. My wife however got it right - and she thinks Obama should drop out. Congrats to Hillary Clinton. And kisses to my wife. On to Pennsylvania.
ps- Bill Clinton is a genius. He sets the bar high saying she has to win both Texas and Ohio, and she does.
"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."
Woody Hayes, Football Coach, Ohio State University
I really have nothing against Ohio. It’s just that I find it a little odd that once again the fate of the Democratic Party appears to be in the hands of the voters of the Buckeye state. My guess is that how Ohio votes on Tuesday will go along way toward determining just who the Democratic Presidential candidate will be.
Call me paranoid, but that makes me a little uneasy. I mean, this isn’t exactly a state that has made a lot of good decisions lately. Maybe we should just see who they vote for, and then nominate the other person.
It was Ohio you will remember who re-elected George W. Bush to a second term. Never mind that the policies of the Bush administration were driving the Ohio economy into the ditch in 2004. Ohio voters came out of the bushes to vote against gay marriage, and while they were at it to vote against John Kerry.
Maybe they were just seeking salvation. It was after all that Ohio paragon Woody Hayes who once famously said "There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you." Apparently the voters of Ohio decided to take him up on his advice.