I have deep roots on my mom's side of the family in Mississippi. My mom and uncle were born there along with my maternal grandparents. I spent more than a few childhood summers visiting the state.
Today my relatives in Yazoo City, Itta Bena, Greenwood, and Jackson along with other Mississippi Democrats get their opportunity to weigh in on this battle between Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton.
If Obama takes it tonight, Hillary will continue her as Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson calls it her 'Animal Farm' strategy and dismiss it as 'another small state loss that doesn't count' and focus on using race baiting to take Pennsylvania.
Those delegates add up, and you better be counting your lucky stars that the Dem party rules for the 2008 primary season this year didn't allow 'winner take all' contests because this thing would be over by now.
Speaking of over, while I like the idea of a dream ticket, I agree with Sen. Obama. How in Hades is somebody that's in second place in the delegate count gonna have the nerve to suggest that she should head the ticket?
But I'll let Sen Obama speak for himself. This is a transcript from a town hall held in Columbus, MS yesterday.
Barack Obama at Columbus, MS Town Hall [3/10/08]
I respect Senator Clinton. She was a friend of mine before this campaign. She"ll be a friend of mine after this campaign. Because we're gonna have to unify together to win in November. But I do have to say I was listening to some of the things Senator Clinton said down here in Mississippi over the last couple of days.
So I am gonna have to say a little bit about it.
You know as I understand it. Both Senator Clinton and President Clinton repeatedly talked about how I would be a great Vice President. They kept on saying well you know he would be a fine Vice President. It would be a formidable team with Clinton at the top and Obama in second place.
Now first of all..with all due respect..with all due respect. I have won twice as many states as Senator Clinton. I have won more of the popular vote than Senator Clinton. I have more delegates than Senator Clinton. So I don't know how somebody who is in second place is offering the Vice Presidency to the person who is in first place. I mean. I am just wondering. I am just wondering. If I was in second place I could understand it, but I am in first place right now. So that is point number one.
But there is another. There is a second point. This is an interesting point. I want you guys to follow me on this. President Bill Clinton back in 1992 when he was being asked about his selection for Vice President. He said the only criteria, the most important criteria for Vice President is that that person is ready if I fell out in the first week that he or she would be ready to be the Commander in Chief. That was his criteria.
Now they have been spending the last two, three weeks. Remember with that advertisement with the phone call. Telling everyone.. Getting all of Generals to say well we are not sure he is ready. "I am ready on day one", "He may not be ready yet" But I don't understand it. If I'm not ready how is it that you think I should be such a great Vice President. Do you understand that?
See I was trying to explain to somebody a while back.the okidoke. You all know the okidoke. When somebody is trying to bamboozle you, when they are trying to hoodwink you.
You.They are trying to hoodwink you.
You can't say that he is not ready on day one unless he is willing to be your Vice President then he is ready on day one.
So look I just want everybody to be absolutely clear here, okay. I want everyone to be absolutely clear. We are in a tough battle and I don't presume that I have won this election. Senator Clinton is fighting hard. She is tenacious. I respect her for that. She is working hard to win the nomination. But I want everybody to be absolutely clear.
I am not running for Vice President. I am running for President of the United States of America. I am running for President of the United States of America. I am running to be Commander in Chief. And the reason I am running to be Commander in Chief is because I believe that the most important thing when you answer that phone call at three in the morning is what kind of judgment do you have, not how long you have been in Washington, but what kind of judgment do you have when you are answering that phone.
And I believe that I have shown better judgment than Senator Clinton. I believe I offer a clean break from the policies of George Bush. Because Senator Clinton went along with George Bush on the war in Iraq. Senator Clinton went along with George Bush on her willingness to try to saber rattle when it came to Iran. She has gone along with many of the conventional ways of thinking about foreign policy that have gotten us into trouble. That is what I intend to change when I am President of the United States.
So I don't want anybody here thinking that I that somehow well you know maybe I can get both. Don't think that way. You have to make a choice in this election.
Are you gonna go along with the past or are you gonna go towards the future?
Are you gonna do the same old thing or are you gonna try something new?
I am not running for Vice President. I do not believe Senator Clinton is about change because in fact this kind of gamesmanship, talking about me as Vice President, but he maybe he's not ready for Commander in Chief. That is exactly the kind of double speak, double talk that Washington is very good at. That people who spend a lot of time in Washington have a lot of experience at, but is not gonna solve the problems of the country.
"I don't understand. If I am not ready, why do you think I would be such a great vice president?" Obama asked the crowd, which gave him a standing ovation during his defense. "I don't understand."
"You can't say he is not ready on day one, then you want him to be your vice president," Obama continued. "I just want everybody to absolutely clear: I am not running for vice president. I am running to be president of the United States of America."