Daly for Delegate

Written by Chris Daly. Posted in Opinion, Politics

Tagged: , ,

Published on April 11, 2008 with 5 Comments

Daly family portrait: Chris, Sarah, Jack, and Grace Eolen Daly.
Photo by Luke Thomas

By Chris Daly

April 11, 2008

Sunday, April 13, 2pm-3pm
SEIU Local 1021,
350 Rhode Island, Suite 100

This Sunday, California’s pledged delegates to the Democratic National Convention will be selected in caucuses organized by congressional district. I am running to be an Obama Delegate from California’s 8th Congressional District and need your support. Any voter in the 8th Congressional District, who is a registered Democrat or willing to register as a Democrat and pledge support for Barack Obama, may attend and vote. You may leave after voting, but you must make it by 3 pm.

On Super Tuesday, right after my family’s short trip across Valencia to cast our ballots, I applied to be a pledged delegate for Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention. While I’d been moved by Obama’s message of hope and change and the campaign’s grassroots approach, in the back of my head, I knew the Clintons wouldn’t go without a fight. A grizzled veteran of internecine political battles, I thought that I might be useful to the Obama campaign on the Convention floor.

With that day’s mixed result, the pundits, activists, and campaigns settled in for a long battle for the nomination that could go all the way to the Convention floor. But then the Obama campaign caught fire, rattling off 9 consecutive W’s, all the way from Louisiana to Wisconsin. While any other opponent would have thrown in the towel, Clinton instead decided to attack our best hope to take the White House, with the kitchen sink! Clinton’s dirty campaign operatives, including Newsom hitman Peter Ragone, were having their way.

With Obama’s lead of pledged delegates increasing to over 160 (even through Clinton’s “firewall” states of Texas and Ohio), Hillary’s route to the nomination seems nearly impossible. In her best case scenario — scoring big wins in Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Puerto Rico – and minimizing losses in Obama strongholds – Clinton’s not likely to close too much within 100 pledged delegates. Meanwhile, superdelegates have been steadily moving towards Obama with the difference now less than 30, taking away Clinton’s strong advantage with Party insiders.

Team Clinton has countered this political reality by opening three fronts – each escalated in its desperation. First they argued that delegations from Florida in Michigan should be seated, despite having previously agreed the elections were not legitimate, not campaigning in the states, and knowing Obama was not even on the ballot in Michigan. Then, they took the line that if they caught Obama in the popular vote (even including Florida and Michigan but excluding caucus estimates), then superdelegates should hand her the nomination. In a most dangerous move, they then inferred that they would try to pilfer pledged delegates away from Obama, sending shivers of a stolen election through the Democratic Party. Unfortunately, these threats made the Obama campaign temporarily recoil, knocking about 900 applicants not known to them off California’s pledged delegate list. They later did the right thing and reinstated the applicants.

At this point it does feel like the Clinton campaign is trying to steal this nomination. If I am elected an Obama Delegate from California’s 8th Congressional District, I will do everything I can to prevent this from happening. My first task will be to win a seat on the Credentials Committee at the statewide delegation meeting on May 18th, in order to help ensure Florida and Michigan are not gifted to Clinton at the National Convention. I will go to Denver to fight for our candidate and for our shared progressive values. If Obama’s nomination is challenged, I will bring a fierce resolve to the Convention floor, helping to comfort those pledged to Obama and politically whipping any who waver. I will help take on any surge by Clinton to steal the nomination and will do so directly and without fear. I will do what I can to set the table so that Obama can get elected in November.

We owe a great deal to many tireless progressive organizers who have been traversing the country, working non-stop to elect Barack Obama, not just because they believe in our candidate, but also because they believe in our collective power to change this country in progressive ways. They know that electing Barack Obama is part of a larger struggle.

As many of us here in San Francisco were getting ready for a showdown on the streets of San Francisco over China’s human rights record, Barack Obama was in Pacific Heights raising money at the Getty mansion. While I understand why Obama must reach out to the corporate circles of the Democratic Party for support, we must not forget the corrosive impact these forces have had on our politics – especially here in San Francisco. Downtown special interests are used to getting their way in Democratic politics, which is why progressives need to be actively organizing for our priorities and people within the Democratic Party, and yes, within the Obama campaign and, hopefully, his administration.

Obama clearly is a candidate of significant character. His incredible netroots support frees him from much of the negative influence of money in politics. Even so, we must never underestimate the power of the system against any movement for change. If I’m sent to Denver, I will not only do everything I can to get Obama nominated; I will also do my best to represent the best in San Francisco progressive politics.

I hope to see you Sunday!

Grace Eolen Daly, 5 months.

Jack Daly, 3.

Chris Daly

Chris Daly is the Political Director for SEIU Local 1021, a union of over 50,000 public sector and non-profit workers. He served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors from 2001-2011 and owns and operates The Buck, a bar and grill on Market Street.

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Comments for Daly for Delegate are now closed.

  1. Chris is correct in that many progressives are fixated in being the opposition and fear walking in power. How about:

    “So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to ineffective unions or outdated marxism or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-middle-class sentiment or anti-establishment sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

    Combine the fear to walk in power with incestuous group think and you’ve got a good start on a diagnosis for progressive dysfunction.


  2. Update… I finished second among the guys capturing the Alternate slot. Congratulations to London Breed, Brian Wang, Rebecca Prozan, and most importantly, the 687 folks who participated today!

  3. Holy Moly,
    If I were a registered Democrat I would not have been able to resist voting for a member of this endearing family (in this case Supervisor Chris Daly), which happens to be lucky enough to include Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore (see family members seated on the laps of Dad and Mom, respectively).

  4. Let me ask you one question, Greg.

    If my grassroots organizing wasn’t as effective and/or my community credentials not so good, and I failed to win election to the Board, would it then be ok for me to run for DCCC and Delegate?

    Now let me make a statement. I believe one of the biggest weaknesses with progressive politics is that many of us are afraid to operate from a position of strength.

  5. It’s kind of sad to see grassroots volunteers once again pushed aside by elected officials who have access to money, privilege and power that the rest of us do not have. First the DCCC and now this? Wow, good to know progressives really empower the people.