Monday, July 16, 2007

We had a lovely day here in Edinburgh yesterday, but it rained quite a lot, I understand, in England (and Ireland and Wales). And St Swithin is an Englishman. Sure enough, today is lousy. I’m afraid the last hope is gone for the Summer of ’07.

Not much to report on the knitting front. I am attaching edging down the second long side of the melon scarf, progressing well. I might reach half-way today.

My friend Helen and I are planning a yarn crawl to HK Handknits later this week. They’re having a sale. That should cheer us up, even if the sun don’t shine.

Since that interesting topic has been dispatched, I will proceed to a political question:

In my distant youth, as I remember things, the parties’ nominating conventions in presidential election years were just that – the places where the nominations were decided. Not all states had primaries, I don’t think, and the ones that did regularly bound the delegates’ votes on the first ballot only at the convention. So primaries were important, but not overwhelmingly so.

There was lots for the Boys in the Back Room to do. If memory serves, Adlai Stevenson wasn’t in any primaries in ’52. They just sort of drafted him at the convention. He was Governor of Illinois, and the convention was in Chicago – but, ah, who decided on that, and why? – and they just went and fetched him, and he came out and stood on his front steps and said, “What more shall be required of thee but to do justice and love mercy and walk humbly with thy God?”

(Don’t blame the history books; blame my memory, if all this is rubbish.)

Whereas nowadays I get the impression that the primaries are everything. When a candidate wins enough of them, that candidate becomes the candidate, and there’s nothing left for the convention to do but throw a party. Is that right?

I wonder because the Boys in the Back Room might well think Hillary too divisive to be the candidate. There was an article in the Independent on Sunday yesterday about how lots of people don’t like her. Including me, although that wasn’t mentioned. It did say that Jane Fonda was hostile. I was delighted, because I am a great Fonda fan, as I was of her father, but we don’t always see eye-to-eye on politics.

On the other hand again, it currently looks as if any Democrat could get elected as long as he/she was capable of tying his/her shoes, so maybe the Boys will figure that they might as well run with Hillary.

My sister and her family will be here for the Games; we can discuss this matter thoroughly then.

Speaking of which, yesterday I ordered the Meet Dolores sweatshirt to wear on Games Day. Last year I wore my new Panopticon sweatshirt, which has proved a most useful garment in the ensuing months. If the day should be sizzling hot – it has happened – I’ll strip down to my “New Yoga” tee shirt.


  1. Janet8:38 AM

    St. Swithin's Day in our part of south Dublin was rain free until 10:25 p.m. - does the gloomy forecast still apply if it is dark and late in the evening of the Day?

  2. The primaries have become fairly central in the candidate selection process here, as I understand it, because the states which vote earlier tend to have more influence on the national stage - or so their intent. There are still a few states in which the Democratic nominee supported by that state is still selected by party caucus.

    I'm in agreement with you and Jane Fonda on Hillary. I find her too much of a politician in the negative sense of the word - too willing to sacrifice principle in order to go with the position she thinks will get the most votes. The problem, of course, is that the ones who are too doggedly principled are also the ones who will most certainly not be nominated or elected. It's certainly an interesting, albeit often confusing, game.

  3. Pamela3:33 PM

    In past primaries, California has held theirs after most of the other states. Consequently, the candidate was pretty much decided before we even got to vote. That is all changed now and for the first time, we will be one of the first primaries. We shall see what happens.

  4. Anonymous8:58 PM

    Primaries are an interesting topic. Here in Minnesota the delegates for the candidates at all levels are determined at the party caucus. The delegates then determine the candidates at party conventions.
    The primaries are just "beauty contests".

  5. mary lou9:04 PM

    A favorite quote from a sadly late Molly Ivins: "Mah fellow progressives, now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of the party. I don’t know about you, but I have had it with the D.C. Democrats, had it with the DLC Democrats, had it with every calculating, equivocating, triangulating, straddling, hair-splitting son of a bitch up there, and that includes Hillary Rodham Clinton."

  6. Anonymous10:46 PM

    Oh, for the Old Days. The Eisenhower/Stevenson election happened during my youth too. Adlai didn't have to spend obscene amounts of money to get the nomination and we didn't have to listen to political crap non-stop for 2 years ahead of the election. Now it seems that it's not the Boys in the Back Room who decide but the Boys in the Board Room who can spend millions of dollars to buy the candidate. PatB

  7. But isn't the primary hoopla generated today partly generated and determined by the media and entertainment industries? I always had the impression that it was a function of having to compete with Hollywood hyperbole (mind you, I was living in LA!).

    It seems weird to be giving up on summer in mid-July. While our summers 'begin' in December, the last month is known as "the February Dragon' for good reason - what a crescendo! I always hated sweating through chemistry lab on +40C during the first weeks of the new year. March was usually pretty fierce too.