We older dudes and dudesses remember a time before Congress reset all national holidays except Independence Day to the nearest Monday to the traditional date. Originally, Memorial Day was May 31. Somehow it is fitting that the bookends for this week include this particular dudess finally being face to face and hand in hand with Hillary Clinton ( while being featured in Inside Chappaqua Magazine) and the fifth anniversary of the infamous meeting of the Democratic Party Rules and Bylaws Committee that reassigned and partitioned delegates Hillary had won in the 2008 primaries effectively disenfranchising primary voters in two states and handing the nomination to Barack Obama.
Two movements came to life that summer although only one remains in the spotlight. Angry Democrats from all over the country carried signs imploring the RBC to “Count Every Vote” and countered the intended appearance of party unity with cries of “party unity my a**.”
The PUMA movement arrived yelling and screaming as most newborns do. On the other side of the political spectrum, a reaction brought an embryonic coalition into existence. In the days of Barry Goldwater, many young people read his Conscience of a Conservative and argued politics in essay assignments for school and over cafeteria lunches. A word seldom heard anymore was one we commonly used then, reactionary.
By late summer 2008, in the wake of the Democratic National Convention where a shameful, scripted, televised imitation of a roll call vote ended when the winner of the party’s popular vote was escorted onto the convention floor and called for the unanimous nomination of the candidate who had garnered and been gifted with a few more delegates, the other baby of the summer was coming to term. Activist women, some angry that Barack Obama had bypassed his very well-qualified female former rival for the Veep spot – in fact would not even speak with them on the topic - headed to the Republican Convention to have a word with their nominee, John McCain.
If you read the book, or better yet saw the movie Game Change, you know what happened next. Sarah Palin, of shooting wolves from helicopters fame, was drafted to the ticket in the Veep spot. By September 2008. PUMA talks shows on Blog Talk Radio and PUMA blogs began being invaded by people speaking of FEMA camps, coffins stacked stories high, blue helmets, black helicopters, and a private army while the Republican VP nominee made speeches about the Democratic nominee paling around with radicals.
There is no doubt that elements of the Tea Party were drawn from the ranks of the PUMAs. Five years later, some who were diehard Hillary Clinton supporters have indeed turned hard against her as those early Tea Party infiltrators tried to convince us to do. But the PUMAs have remained cohesive via Facebook groups and blogs. We may not receive the publicity the Tea Party does. We do not seek it, but we are still together. If /when our Hillary wants us, this solid core of her loyalists are already organized around her. We have stuck by her over these six years since she so appealingly began the conversation with us. We stayed beside her when she was robbed of her delegates, and we celebrate our anniversary together while our girl, as yet having made no commitment to a second run for the roses, continues to top the polls.
A new Quinnipiac poll out today pits her against two dynastic possible rivals, Jeb Bush, of the more traditional Republican brand, and Rand Paul, darling of the reactionary firebrand variety that has overtaken the party and left Congress in paralysis. While she remains in the shade, setting up her office within the family foundation, her appeal and charisma continue to keep her in the news.
May 31, 2013 – American Voters Like Clinton Over Paul, Jeb Bush, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds;
PDF formatIn an early look at the 2016 presidential campaign, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leads Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky 49 – 41 percent and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush 48 – 40 percent, but Vice President Joseph Biden trails Bush 44 – 38 percent and falls behind Paul 43 – 39 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Ms. Clinton gets a 52 – 40 percent favorability rating, down from an all-time high 61 – 34 percent in a February 8 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University. Favorability ratings for other possible 2016 presidential contenders are:
- Biden: Negative 37 – 44 percent;
- Paul: Positive 32 – 24 percent, with 42 percent who don’t know enough about him to form an opinion;
- Bush: 29 – 29 percent, with 42 percent who haven’t formed an opinion.
“Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remains the queen of the 2016 hill at this point, but the wide gap between her and some of the leading Republican contenders on favorability may be closing, as her overall favorability has taken a hit,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Her score is down substantially from her all-time high score in February. The drop in her favorability is substantial among men, Republicans and independent voters. One reason for her drop may be that 48 percent of voters blame her either a little or a lot for the death of the American ambassador in Benghazi,” Brown added. In the hypothetical race between Clinton and Jeb Bush, she carries Democrats 92 – 3 percent, but loses Republicans 82 – 8 percent and splits independent voters 42 – 43 percent. She wins women 55 – 35 percent, but loses men 45 – 40 percent. Clinton gets a 91 – 4 percent favorability among Democrats and a 46 – 42 percent favorability from independent voters, with a negative 18 – 77 percent favorability from Republicans. Women are favorable 59 – 32 percent, while men are negative 44 – 50 percent. In February, she was 91 – 5 percent favorable among Democrats, negative 27 – 68 percent among Republicans and 59 – 35 percent positive among independents. She was 53 – 42 favorable among men and 68 – 27 percent favorable among women. “If Ms. Clinton chooses not to run in 2016, the potential Democratic field could include a somewhat unpopular vice president and a number of new faces who are unknown to the vast majority of Americans,” said Brown. “The potential Republican candidates include many unknowns also. Some of them, however, lead the incumbent vice president and outscore him when it comes to overall voter favorability.”Read more >>>>
For those of us who remember this day in history, Hillary is the glue. She is the magnet that drew us together and keeps us tight. We have stayed with the girl we took to the dance in 2008 even though the party tore up our prom tickets.