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The Texas Blue
Advancing Progressive Ideas

News Roundup, 3/31/08: A Conventional Weekend

Over the weekend, Texas Democrats took the next step in our state's primary-and-caucus process. People headed to gyms, churches, and resorts — or as was the case with most of us here at The Texas Blue, a park — to elect delegates to the state convention, among other things.

I reported on Friday that, anecdotally, there seemed to be a discrepancy in campaign organizing among my pals, and that Clinton's campaign was making a strong case to get every possible delegate to the conventions. The more I spoke to people on Saturday though, the more it seemed to be sort of uneven across both campaigns. I spoke to delegates for both Obama and Clinton who had been besieged by calls and mail; conversely, I spoke to other delegates that had heard not a peep from whichever Senator they supported. I even heard a few examples of some crossover, in which a delegate for Clinton would get a call from Obama and vice-versa.

And so the conventions happened, and the reports from most major news outlets are that Obama will emerge from Austin's state convention with a delegate lead. Everyone is quick to point out, though, that nothing is official until after the state convention, and in a year of surprises and uncertainties, I don't blame them.

I will be curious to see if the weekend's activities (and no doubt the second albeit smaller influx of volunteers and staff for the campaigns) will result in an economic bump for Texas like the March 4 primary did. There may even be a third one during the state convention in June, and it wouldn't surprise me at all to see another high-energy effort on the part of both campaigns if Howard Dean collects enough weight to throw around to force the decision on a candidate by July 1.

And of course, watching it all is John McCain. He's running general election ads and laying claim to an ethereal demographic he refers to as McCain Democrats.

And yet, he still hasn't figured out how to do some things that will prove very important to his candidacy, like how to sell the American public on a policy package that essentially gives George Bush a third term, or how the Republican Party can hope to win in the coming years while whistling past the West as it turns more and more Democratic.

This will no doubt be a busy week in political news, and we thank you for staying with us. Thanks for reading.

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