Head North!

Jesse Cornett

This opportunity might be as good as it gets! I’ve been talking about my desire to have earlier Oregon Primary for a long time. It didn’t happen this year and I don’t expect it to get changed in the future. I also blogged recently about going to Nevada for their Caucus in January. It was a tremendous experience. In 2004 I traveled the Nation to help John Edwards campaign for Vice-President (which I also blogged about extensively). In 2000, long before Blue Oregon existed, I worked on a campaign here in Oregon that allowed me to interface with the Gore campaign and played a variety of roles in every trip he and his poorly selected running mate made to Oregon.

Let’s face it, folks, we are all political junkies. We wouldn’t be reading Blue Oregon otherwise. But have you ever been to a presidential campaign rally? Jeff Mapes, among many other people I’m sure, is talking about candidates Clinton and Obama visiting the Seattle area in advance of Washington State’s odd hybrid selection process.

Both parties are having a Caucus this weekend and a Presidential Primary on February 19th. For the Democrats, the Caucus is the only one that counts. The Primary (which ballots are already out for a vast majority of Washington voters) is just a “beauty contest.” I was in Seattle this past weekend and several people I know talked proudly about having already voted in the Democratic Primary. Little do they know, their vote means nothing. Nothing at all. The Republicans are selecting half their delegates from the Caucus and the other half from the Primary, which is just as goofy.

There is some prediction that Oregon’s late May Primary will matter this year after all. I find that hard to believe but would look forward to it. Unfortunately, with so many super delegates, I think the campaign will be won or lost by wooing that group. And that push will start in earnest by mid-March. This week's rallies in Seattle might be as good as it gets. Clinton is at 8 pm tonight. Obama is up at 11 am tomorrow. Don't discuss. Go!

  • urbanplanningoverlord (unverified)

    My prediction is that Oregon, with one of the last primaries this year, will have the last laugh on all those Tsunami Tuesday primary states that slobbered all over themselves to get a February date.

    Oregon doesn't need to follow the pack. Perhaps this year, when we have inordinate influence on the process with our late primary, we will signal a counter-trend toward sanity as other states see the benefits of a later primary.

  • Fair and Balanced (unverified)

    My sense is that the nomination will still be in play when the Oregon primary rolls around, so there would be some campaigning here -- but that it may be clear by then that the real action will be among the super-delegates. For that not to be the case, either Hillary or Barack would have to garner about 1,800 of the roughly 3,200 "elected" delegates at stake in the primaries and caucuses. Results so far are closer than that 56% ratio.

    I still remember vividly the two Presidential campaign rallies I attended. It was 1960, and both Kennedy and Nixon spoke on the courthouse steps in Dayton, Ohio. The main square was totally packed, and the atmosphere was like a big-time sports event.

    I hope and expect that both Clinton and Obama will come to Oregon, maybe make several stops. The only other state voting May 20 is Kentucky, and since they will have just finished West Virginia the week before, it would make sense for them to hit Kentucky late that week, and then move west for Oregon, followed by Idaho on May 27.

  • Bill R. (unverified)

    I look forward to some great Obama speeches in Oregon. For those heading North on Friday you can attend an Obama rally in Seattle:

    Stand for Change Rally with Barack Obama

    Key Arena 305 Harrison Street Seattle, WA 98109

    February 8, 2008 Doors Open: 11:00 a.m.

  • (Show?)

    Jesse, thanks for the post. If folks are eager to help Obama in Vancouver for this Saturday, send me an email including your phone number to [email protected]. Thanks in advance for your help!

  • Curtis (unverified)

    Wish I could have made it to see Hillary in Seattle...but it's a 5 hour drive up the 5 Freeway and it was aleady 4pm by the time I heard she was going to be there.

    HILLARY for President!

  • Tahler (unverified)

    GO HILLARY! I think it's cool she was here int he Northwest and hope she comes back soon...she really is an inspiration to me.

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    Jesse, yes, these are exciting times. A primary season that comes far closer to engaging the entire country than any I've ever seen. That cannot be a bad thing!

    I'd be up for heading north, but I gotta go for a little walk on Saturday. Give my best to Barack!

  • steven (unverified)

    What's better than Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama in the White House for the next 8 years?

    Hillary Clinton AND Barack Obama in the White House for the next 16!

    The 16 Year Plan. Sign the petition.

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    I worked a Washington caucus in '04 for Dean. It was lots of fun.

    One of the best presidential rallies I've been to was the '04 rally downtown at Pioneer Courthouse Square with Kerry and Dean.

    Some of us who had been doing some volunteer work that day ended up closed inside the fence during the security sweep. As such, I actually got a front row space. Normally as a volunteer I'd end up in the very back like I did at Dean's Sleepless Summer event.

    During that time in the front row I got to have a lengthy discussion with Sean Astin, got to meet Dean, and Kerry. It was loads of fun. Of course my camera didn't work that day, so I didn't get a single picture. And no one who said they'd e-mail over a picture did that. However, I did find one on Getty Images one day... and they won't even give you a pic of yourself for free. So I just have the one I saved off their site. http://tinyurl.com/36mlmy.

    Not only way every space surrounding the Square filled with people, but every open staircase, window, opening, etc. in all the buildings surrounding the Square were filled with people too.

    I didn't get to go to the big rally on the Waterfront, as I was working a voter registration drive that day. But driving on I-5 headed to Beaverton, I got to see the rally. I've never seen so many people in one place in Portland before. The closest I've ever seen to it was big events in Houston. When I left for a training in Boston a few days later, the Kerry/Edwards plane was sitting there as we were taxiing out to the runway. Everyone on the plane was excited to see the plane - Dems and Repubs alike.

    There's nothing like a presidential rally. I can't wait until we start having the big rallies here.

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