The Marc Steiner Show

6/05 Marc on the end of the 2008 Democratic Primary Season


The Marc Steiner Show Returns!


OK, folks we are about to launch our new show on WEAA. In the beginning we will only be on WEAA once a week, but we will be moving to a daily show in September.


For now, join me every Wednesday morning at 9 AM on 88.9, WEAA, for a live show. We will have some town meetings over the summer so you can join us live in the evening, as well.


At last, a candidate!


Tell me what your take is on the Presidential election. What do you make of Hillary Clinton’s speech? If the delegate count is what it is and the voting is over then should she not concede? Should she not now unite in a way that allows the increasingly divided Democratic electorate to heal and unite?


In her defense, Senator Clinton has stated that she has won the popular vote. The issue of the popular vote is real given how cheated, dismayed and angry Democrats felt in 2000 after Al Gore won the popular vote but did not attain the presidency. However, is it right that Hillary Clinton’s camp counts Florida and Michigan in vote counts when those primaries were invalid? When Senator Barack Obama wasn’t even on the ballot in Michigan?


That brings up another issue. I thought it was insane for the Democrats to disallow Florida and Michigan from participating in the primary elections. The whole primary system is ridiculous to begin with. It is an anarchic system with each state vying for supremacy of importance. Iowa and New Hampshire, whose caucus and primary did not come into importance until 1972 and 1953, respectively, are anachronisms. The entire system of primary and general elections needs to be shortened and simplified.


All that not withstanding, should Senator Hillary Clinton concede and bring her troops in for the battle for November? Or should she fight on in hopes of his stumbling bloody before the finish line?


I really want to know where you are on all of this.


More soon….


Written by Marc Steiner

Marc Steiner

The Marc Steiner Show airs Monday thru Friday from 10AM to Noon on WEAA 88.9 FM. The show covers the topics that matter, engaging real voices, from Charm City to Cairo and beyond. Call us at 410.319.8888 or email us to participate live in the show, or share your comments on our site! Aren’t in Baltimore but want to listen? Stream the show live.


  1. The primaries should be held on 6 Saturdays from March to June, roughly every other week. The order for each group of primaries should be determined by lottery, one year prior to the first scheduled primary. That way all the states have an equal chance to be in the first group of states.

    The problem with this is, like so much of our presidential election procedures, the states control the scheduling of primaries, subject only to sanctions by the two major political parties for violating their rules. So we either have to federalize presidential elections, or somehow convince Iowa and New Hampshire to give up their long-established and long-recongized practice of going first.

  2. I have such mixed feelings about it all. (as usual)

    Part of me is so sad not to have a woman at the top of the ticket, again. When my daughter was in the second grade and learned about the presidents, she came home very, very excited and asked me, “Mom, out of all the presidents, how many have been women?”

    That moment is still with me, having taught my daughters early on that they could grow up to be anything they wanted. This year Emily is registered to vote for the first time and I thought it would be really inspiring if she could participate in the first election for a female president.

    But, I realize this is a personal story, and we all have them. I know this time is precious to many. It’s an historic moment. Mr. Obama is inspiring and has the ability to bring people together, that much is certain. I reserve my judgement and am happy just to be around to witness it.

    Ms. Clinton’s speech could have been better, but she didn’t ask me to write it for her! I think her resistance to concede shows that it is personal to her, that it meant a great deal to her, and that it is just truly difficult for her to give it up. I certainly can’t fault her for that kind of caring and passion. I also think it’s silly to believe that waiting a few days to concede will have any lasting effect on the Democratic Party. As quickly as we move on to the next topic in this society, it won’t be remembered next month. I have heard it said that perhaps she is trying to negotiate certain terms with Mr. Obama before she concedes. I heard it suggested on WNYC yesterday that the Obama campaign has told her that if they offer the VP position to her, she must decline and that her people have agreed to this on the condition that they not offer it to another woman. I have no idea if any of this is true, but it could explain the lag time.

    The primary process is in need of adjustment. I can’t believe the people of Florida and Michigan were not rioting in the streets when they found out their votes would not be counted. What has happened to the people in this country? It is the duty of every American to pay attention to these things BEFORE they occur.

    Which brings me to my last point, I am overjoyed to learn that your show will be back on the air. This is just the sort of thing you would make us aware of if it were to happen here in Maryland. I am counting the days, I will be there and I am sure it will feel good to have the brain stirred again.

  3. First of all I would like to say congratulations on the new show! The fact that you got it up and running so quickly says a lot about the hard work and dedication of everyone at CEM. Here’s to a brand new day!

    Regarding Hillary Clinton’s speech– well it spoke volumes… indeed, her behavior this week told me everything I need to know about the Senator– calculating and self-centered to the end. Nothing matters except the furthering of her personal agenda… and it comes at the expense of everything: dignity, grace, decency, style, the greater good. It’s all about the bottom line– how can I use this to my advantage?

    Here’s to real change and true leadership– here’s to Obama!

  4. I agree with the notion of staggered primaries based on a lottery system, rather than having them all on the same day. However, I think there still should be provisions for putting a few smaller primaries first. It would really be difficult for a lesser-known or lesser-funded candidate to break out of the pack if his/her first contest was California. This is the one thing that IA and NH have going for them; they’re small.

    The downside of IA and NH is that they’re not representative of the nation, geographically, racially, or otherwise. I liked the DNC’s attempt this year to bring Nevada and South Carolina into the fold as early voters. Although the first two states still managed to suck all the air out of the room this time around, I think that establishing a cluster of smaller contests first can be an overall plus.

    However, I would take it even further than just adding SC and NV for diversity. What’s really missing from the primary cycle is the voice of urban voters. I would love to see an early primary take place in a city like Baltimore. Even though we’re used to seeing state-based elections, there is no real reason why the primaries have to be organized by state. The DNC can designate any area it wants as a target for a primary, change its rules accordingly, and work in cooperation with state and local election boards accordingly.

    Because they’re working with a smaller population base, candidates can still work small crowds, have photo-ops, and do all the things they love to do in IA and NH that reflect small-scale politics. But instead of stopping in the diner, they might stop in the barbershop. Instead of pandering to the ethanol lobby, they’d pander to urban interests. On a national scale, it would shatter the stereotype that the “real” America is small-town America, and make people realize that city dwellers are just as much a part of this country as rural dwellers.

    I wouldn’t know the first step to take to make this idea reality. And ultimately, I think there probably won’t be real change without federalizing the election process as the previous commenter suggested. But if we’re stuck with the system we have, we might as well play to its strengths and enhance it by bringing real diversity into the process.

    PS, Congratulations, Marc, on the new show; I will be listening on Wednesdays.

  5. I agree. The primaries should all happen in a couple of weeks and we’d be able to move on to the meaningful campaigning. A party would be able to place the money where it would have the biggest bang–winning The White House. OBAMA-NOVEMBER! the only real choice.

  6. Marc,

    I completely agree that the system needs to be completely re-done. I personally feel that all primaries should be on the same day, just like the general election. The only reason it’s still the way it is, is so the media (no offense 😉 ) can sell more ad time and have more to talk about. This is why our elections require millions and millions of dollars to administer, and I don’t think it’s ultimately helpful for democracy. All this to stroke the egos of NH and IA?

    All that said, Hillary really doesn’t have a leg to stand on. She’s proven that she cares more about herself than the Democratic Party, whereas I think Obama has run a very dignified and uplifting campaign.

    Now, what to do with Hillary. Some have suggested Secretary of State. While I can see the upsides to that (appease her base, appeal to moderately hawkish voters, have Bill work his charm on the foreign leaders), it should be noted that she could very well try to use that post to become almost a second president. No president should offer a cabinet position to someone he or she doesn’t trust. And what has Clinton done to prove she is trustworthy?

  7. I am thrilled that Obama is the candidate. I hope he makes it in November. A McCain presidency scares me. I understand why she did not cincede on Tuesday. Some of her supporters are passionate and need to be brought by her into the fold. I don’t want them not voting or voting for McCain. I know Republicans that cannot vote for McCain, my husband being one. Now Hillary needs to do what is necessary. I understand she will do this on Saturday. I think a lot of her supporters have told her that this is necessary. If she held out any longer, her future in the party would be in danger. I think she will campaign hard for him. I do not think he will choose her as a running mate, nor should he.

    I am in Hillary’s demographic, older white woman, but have been for Obama since the beginning.

    I’m glad you are back on the air. I’ll be listening. I cannot listen to Dan Rodricks. he’s a nice guy, but is too much of a lightweight.

  8. Unfortunately, the word “concede” is just not in either of the Clintons’ vocabularies. Her speech the other night was outrageous. Her invoking the “popular vote” is but the latest example of her duplicity. The implication, of course, is that Obama cannot win the popular vote in November. But this is based on the false premise that, assuming she really did “win” the popular vote in the primaries, those voters — including in overwhelmingly Democratic states such as New York and California — simply will not vote for him in the Fall. This fits in with her overall theme of the speech — “he cannot win without me”. After that speech, there is simply no way he can choose her as VP. If he chose her as VP and won, her spin would be that he couldn’t get the job without her. No President can be so hobbled by his/her Vice President.

    Obama should very quickly name Kansas Governor Kathleen Sibelius as his running mate. A popular, two term Democratic governor in a Republican state, Sibelius successfully took on Blue Cross/Blue Shield in rejecting a merger that was not in the public interest. She defied the NRA by vetoing a concealed carry law. Although the law passed over her veto, she easily won re-election. She is a pro-choice Catholic. At 60 years old, she will appeal to the angriest section of Clinton’s constituency. And, she should help him in Ohio, where she grew up. Her father, John J. Gilligan, is a former congressman and Governor (they are the first father/daughter governors in US history). Last year, at 86, he stepped down from the Cincinnati School Board on which he served from 1999, so he is still well known to Cincinnati voters.

    Naming Sebelius quickly will end the death by a thousand paper cuts the Clintons will otherwise inflict on Obama over the next five months as they triangulate to hold on to some sliver of national power. Yes, it will infuriate them but there is no rational, fair dealing with them. And all but the most fanatic Clinton supporters will like Sebelius once they get to know her.

    Personally, I don’t care if the Michigan and Florida Democratic parties chose to hold their 2032 primaries in 2008 — vote early and often. But once the DNC announced the early primaries there wouldn’t count, there is no way the results in those states could be accepted at face value. Obama met Clinton more than halfway in agreeing to split Michigan 69/59, which pretty much reflects her winning 55% of the Michigan popular vote. Donna Brazile says he had the votes for a 50 – 50 split, but met her more than halfway. Clinton continued to assert the Stalinist position that the results of a one-candidate election (Obama honored the spirit of the DNC decision by removing his name from the ballot, as did every major candidate other than Clinton) should be honored as reflecting the will of the voters. That most of her own supporters on the Rules Committee would not back her shows how out of touch with reality she is.

    Yes, there must be unity but Obama must do that by reaching out, not to Clinton, but to her more reasonable supporters, who I am sure are the overwhelming majority. He should show respect to Clinton, and perhaps offer her a Supreme Court appointment. But if he named her as his running mate, that combination would make the John Adams/Thomas Jefferson matchup look like a lovefest.

    I am so happy that I lived to see the day an African American was nominated as the presidential candidate of a major political party.

  9. Congratulations to Maryland and WEAA. A champion of the public interest is back on the air.

    I look forward to listening to Marc again, one of the best interviewers in America today.


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