Obama Lands Unofficial Democratic Nomination

Going into the Montana and South Dakota primaries last night, the last night of primaries in this historic presidential primary season of 2008, Barack Obama needed 47 delegates to secure the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. It didn’t matter how they came – from pledged delegates or super delegates.

Obama won Montana, winning 56% of the vote and the 9 pledged delegates that come with it. He lost South Dakota but picked up 6 pledged delegates. The combined nightly pledged delegate totaled 15 which left him 32 delegates away from the prize. Then, the super delegates kicked and and pushed him over the top. Within hours of polls closing, 56 super delegates lent their support to Obama that clearly suggested that it’s time to bring the Democratic Primary season to a close and commence focus on the big prize: the contest with Republican presidential nominee John McCain for the Presidency of the United States.

As of today, June 4th, Obama’s delegate totals look like this: 1,765 pledged delegates in addition to 389 super delegates totaling 2,154 delegates. The amount of delegates Obama needed to secure the nomination was 2,118. If you recall, 2,025 delegates were needed to win the democratic nomination until the Michigan and Florida fiascos caused the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee to re-distribute delegate votes.

So, now that Obama is the unofficial Democratic nominee for President of the United States (it will be made official at the Democratic National Convention in Denver in late Summer, August 25-28, is Hillary Clinton the likely selection as Vice Presidential running mate?

Former President Jimmy Carter weighed in on the subject today of a proposed “unity ticket” and called it, in his own words, “the worst mistake that could be made”. His point against Clinton joining Obama’s ticket was that the vulnerabilities of and differences between each other’s platform would be exposed and leveraged against them. He argued that there are already 50% of Democratic voters that will not vote for Clinton and he may be right. Tuesday night, before the Montana and South Dakota polls closed, Clinton mentioned that she would consider the Vice Presidency if it were in the best interest of the Party in November’s general election. then, a little while later, refused to concede the nomination to Obama. Some feel that she is contemptuous of Obama and lacks faith in him as the Party’s leader. Other’s feel that she is the divisive wedge that could lose the Presidency for the Democrats. Stay tuned. McCain will take advantage of this.

Back to Jimmy Carter… Carter thinks many Democrats feel Obama is not white enough for them, is not old enough or even experienced enough to lead U.S. domestic and foreign policy. And the kicker: perhaps his last name sounds too Arab. Carter feels that the combined deficiencies of each candidate would be “the worst of both worlds”.

However, there are those that worry about Clinton loyalists that have pledged to defect to the Republican party after the inopportune re-distribution of votes from the Michigan and Florida primaries, a re-calculation that favored Obama. Carter feels that, strategically, there are better choices, one among them being former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn who served 24 years in the Senate and is now co-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Institute, a non-profit that tries to diminish worldwide dangers imposed by nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. A Georgian through and through, Nunn’s appointment would help Obama in conservative states that voted Republican in 2004. But, then again, the only states that voted Democrat in 2004 Presidential voting were Western, upper Midwest, and Northeast states.

How would a John McCain-Hillary Clinton Presidential ticket be received?

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