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Pennsylvania Primary

by Lionel E. Deimel

Primary day in the Keystone State:

Pennsylvanians vote while others await

Their views on who can best address

Conditions causing great distress.


Of TV ads there’s been no end—

Barack and Hillary contending—

A gift unto the GOP

Might be the thing they’re rend’ring,

Affording little time for wounds to mend.


The Democrats might make their choice

And, from their discord, forge one voice;

But if it’s not Obama’s day,

The party pols have final say.


Pennsylvania and campaign logos

Today, April 22, 2008, is the day of the Pennsylvania primary election. For the first time in memory, my vote in a presidential primary might actually have some bearing on who is nominated.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have much at stake in Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary. Clinton is expected to win, but a narrow win will be interpreted as an Obama victory. An outright win by Obama would likely result in calls for Clinton to throw in the towel, and those calls will be hard to resist. Anything less than an Obama victory, however, will leave the Illinois senator ahead in the delegate count, but the nasty fight between the candidates will continue, with the final party nominee being determined by the so-called superdelegates (the “party pols” of the poem), who are mostly party leaders of one sort or another. Many believe that the negative campaign ads of recent days benefit Republican John McCain as much as the subjects of the spots.

I began writing the poem above on my way to my polling place, Stephen C. Foster Elementary School.

The second verse, which contains something of a hidden message, uses the sort of rhyme scheme I played with in my earlier poem “Sunday Afternoon.”

Hillary Clinton, of course, won the Pennsylvania primary, and she supposedly did so by 10 percentage points, the pundits’ declared minimum for considering her victory “real.” In fact, with 99% of the districts reporting, Pennsylvania’s Department of State Web site this morning reports only an 8½% difference in the voting, which still gives her nearly 19% more votes than Barack Obama. What this means is anyone’s guess, since Clinton or Obama will be running against John McCain in the fall, not against one another. The Clinton victory certainly means that the battle between the Democratic aspirants will continue, perhaps with ever-increasing nastiness. Superdelegates may indeed determine the Democratic presidential candidate in 2008

— LED, 4/23/2008

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