• 5 March 2008
  • Posted By Daniel Robinson
  • 7 Comments
  • Election 2008, Presidential 2008 Elections

Clinton Stages Comeback; McCain Wraps up Nomination

Hillary Clinton staged a surprising comeback in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination and John McCain is now the presumptive nominee, having reached the required delegate threshhold.

What does this mean for the race going forward? Follow me below for a quick preview.

Clinton beat Obama in the Ohio and Texas primary, and scored an impressive victory in Rhode Island too.

 

On the Republican side, McCain locked up the remaining 150 or so delegates he needed to secure the Republican nomination. Mike Huckabee bowed out of the race.

This Democratic race is proving to be the knockdown, drag-em-out fight that many predicted; but privately in Democratic circles, the thinking goes that the prolonged nomination fight will lead to some major bloodletting and severely cripple whoever is the nominee.

 

Looking forward to the next seven weeks of campaigning.

 

We’ll do a little bit more in analysis on where the general election race and the Democratic race is headed, especially foreign affairs and the US-Iran policy dimensions. And the role the IA community will play in the general election matchups and congressional races.

By the way, if I haven’t done so already, welcome to the blog everyone!

Posted By Daniel Robinson

    7 Responses to “Clinton Stages Comeback; McCain Wraps up Nomination”

  1. Babak Talebi says:

    Dan,

    great points there. The key element on the Democratic side is that Obama is still ahead by about 150 pledged delegates even after last night. There are only 560 or so pledged delegates left, and because of the proportional system in the Democratic primaries, it will be next to impossible for Clinton to catch up.

    There are also about 300 unpledged “super” delegates left as well as the contention over Florida and Michigan. So the key here is that the Clinton team needs to make everything go there way over the next two months to have any chance of really getting the nomination. It will be an uphill fight for her.

    none-the-less, America will be in for a continued political battle between these two political juggernauts and Iranian Americans will have another opportunity in Pennsylvania to weigh in.

    One other thing – Wyoming will vote this Saturday, and Mississippi will vote next Tuesday.

  2. Dan Robinson says:

    Babak

    Thanks for pointing those out. I also would add that with the prolonged fight, there’s been a lot of discussion about whether the candidates would stick to their word on allowing the voters to decide the outcome of the nomination.

    The Clinton camp has been mobilizing senior staff to lobby ‘super’ delegates in this fight. Obama is expected to announce some new SP support this week, but still not clear if they will endorse him now in light of the wind coming out of his sails a little with Clinton’s victories.

    With Clinton’s victories in Ohio and Texas, she can put up a pretty good argument to the “super” delegates that she can be an effective nominee since Obama has yet to win a ‘big’ state. On the other hand, Clinton has not been able to make inroads in Obama’s coalition.

    By the way, good thing to watch over the next couple of weeks is if Clinton will continue the ‘3am call’ national security argument and if that tactic will resonate in a state like Pennsylvania.

  3. farzadn says:

    i think it will come down to what happens in florida. again.

  4. Babak Talebi says:

    lol farzadn, that may well be true since they are now considering a re-vote. Michigan as well (thought that may be a caucus).

    In the end, the delegate math seems to be insurmountable for Clinton. Remember that after Pennsylvania on April 22, Indiana and North Carolina are voting on May 6th and have more delegates combined then Pennsylvania does (and Obama is favored in IN and NC as of now).

    whatever the results – what we as the IA community need to do, is make sure these candidates address the issues relating to US policy towards Iran as well as domestic policies that concern our community.

  5. Alex Patico says:

    Barack Obama offers one primary (potential) advantage: he seems prepared to treat all the people of the world with some measure of respect. This would be a refreshing change not only from the jingoistic posturing of the Bush administration, but also from the consensus foreign policy of the past 100 years or more. Many times, “national interest” has dictated that the United States befriend some dictators, while toppling others. We have aided some poor people while ignoring many others. Our leaders has touted spiritual values as important, but often acted as though that was our lowest priority when it came to actual policy. While resolving US-Iran relations (and helping to sort out Iran’s relations with Europe and its Middle East neighbors) will be, by NO means, an easy task, Obama just might be able to make a good beginning.

  6. Arian says:

    The question on which I would like to see an NIAC analysis that discusses the candidates’ positions on Iran. As the electoral process continues, the candidates are. almost universally, becoming more hawkish. Obama, for example, recently softened his position on the withdrawal of troops from Iraq. McCain and Clinton remain adamantly opposed to Iran talks without preconditions. As eager as I am to see the end of imperial foreign policy and the demise of missionary zeal in the American government, I am skeptical that any candidate can truly change the direction of the status quo. In short, is Obama our Khatami, a reformer with a good heart but who ultimately could not deliver results based on institutional pressure? Have we, both here and in Iran, set ourselves up to be disappointed and frustrated when the US and Iran are still not speaking in 2009?

  7. Babak Talebi says:

    about MI and FL – the latest news seems to be that they are considering vote-by-mail in May or early June. might be a loooooong campaign yet.

    Alex – that seems to be the ‘hope’ 😛

    Arian – I think you do have a very solid point – we as IA’s should not delude ourselves into thinking if one or the other candidate wins, there will be peace (and as Clinton says) “the clouds will open up and celestial choirs start singing”.

    I think your point hammers home the fact that IAs need to get engaged with their legislative representatives directly. Without a popular push from constituents, Congress will not allow any President the breathing room he/she may need to engage with Iran diplomatically.

    As for Candidate positions – NIAC did publish one earlier in the primary (which is still relevant): http://www.niacouncil.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1018&Itemid=2

    And We already have one in the works for the General election. Hopefully, we will also be able to provide some candidate guides for key Senate and House races as well this Fall.

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Sign the Petition

 

7,349 signatures

Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.

Sincerely,

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