Sure, Hillary Clinton may have won the popularity vote in the presidential caucus that was held today in Las Vegas. But surprisingly, in what is really meaningful, the number of delegates that will be sent to the Democratic National Convention, the winner was Barack Obama. Sen. Obama won thirteen delegates to Sen. Clinton's twelve. Overall, Clinton leads the delegates race with 236, including separately chosen party and elected officials known as superdelegates. Obama has a total of 136, and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards has 50.
This race turned decidedly testy in the last few days of the campaign. Most media is suggesting that it came from the Obama camp and the Culinary union. Of course when has the mainstream media ever been known to be aware of what was really going on?
It was Clinton supporters who filed a lawsuit to prevent the at-large precinct sites on the Las Vegas strip after the Culinary Union endorsed Obama. They did this in fear that the large constituency of union workers would cause her to lose these large caucus sites. In actuality, the hotels, who supported Clinton (more on this later), prevented many culinary workers from attending the caucus. Page after page of culinary workers who had requested to attend the caucus were denied to attend by their management. They did however, ensure that any of their management that went to support Clinton, were allowed to attend. In fact, after the time that the doors to the caucus were supposed to be locked and no more admittance was allowed, they were still letting management in to caucus.
The Obama team and the Culinary Union were warned that they would be drawn back into court if they had any campaign paraphernalia outside the caucus area, and organizers were not allowed near the caucus area. How funny that the outside was lined with Clinton posters, people passing out buttons and t-shirts and encouraging people to vote for Clinton. The T-shirts tried to fool union members by having the slogan, "I Support My Union. I Support Hillary".
I was supposed to caucus today at Bellagio, but at the last moment was told that since I had requested the day off, trying not to inconvenience my department by having to leave my shift for a couple of hours to participate, that I was not allowed to vote at Bellagio. Only workers who were scheduled for a shift were allowed to participate. I had to rush back home to get to my precinct in order to caucus.
This morning, when I went to Bellagio to work with the union organizers, we were honored by Barack Obama making an appearance in the Bellagio Employee Dining Room. It was a visit that the Clinton campaign did not want to happen, even though Bill Clinton had been making the rounds into the hotels all week. Yesterday, Hillary, Bill, and Chelsea spent the afternoon in the Bellagio employee dining room, but when word came out that Obama was going to be there this morning, she complained that he shouldn't be allowed to come there to try and sway employees. Of course, since the Clinton's were staying at Bellagio, she almost got her wish.
Personally, I think the real reason the hotel executives were promoting Clinton, is that they know that she is unelectable against ANY republican candidate in the November general election. She is so polarizing as a candidate, that democrats who do not like her would never vote for her even if she is their candidate. Republicans, meanwhile, would become united against what they view as their ultimate enemy.
The general opinion about why the Culinary endorsement for Obama did not translate into a victory, is that they waited too late to give the endorsement. Theorists say that if they had made the endorsement six weeks earlier, their organizing skills could have translated to an Obama victory. This may be true. I just wonder how much dirtier the Clinton campaign tactics, taken from the Karl Rove handbook, would have become.