There has been much hand-wringing recently over whether superdelegates will hijack the Democrats’ presidential-selection process. In the Rhode Island Democratic Party, we have a number of insiderish old-school-types who long ago committed to Hillary, including party chair Bill Lynch, vice chair and national committeewoman Edna O’Neill Mattson, and most surprisingly (could it be?), Sheldon Whitehouse, for whom Barack Obama came to stump during the former’s 2006 US Senate campaign. Perhaps it’s mere coincidence that Obama and Sherbet Whitebread, in their DC stances and their views on Iraq, match up like a set of long-lost twins.
Also on the Clinton list is Mark Weiner, that old Democratic political operative and friend of Billary, who, P+J imagine, is putting the hard word on people like Bill Lynch and Whitehouse to call in favors and drum up support for Hillary. (Speaking of superdelegates, Phoenix contributor Matt Jerzyk has a nice summation of the process on his Rhode Island’s Future blog at rifuture.org/showDiary.do?diaryId=1212.)
Fortunately, we have seen the Patricks — first US Representa¬tive Kennedy, and then Attorney General Lynch, see the light and come out in support of Obama.
This situation bears watching, because superdelegates can cast their ballot for whomever they wish right up to the national convention. Although the tide seems to be turning in Obama’s favor, let’s keep a close eye on this little group of our own players, so Vo Dilun voters can use their own good sense, rather than being co-opted by the deal-cutting Mark Weiners of the world.
Spalding’s job well done
Your superior correspondents don’t even pretend to be objective concerning Curt Spalding, our friend and former colleague, who last week announced that, after 20 years, he will be leaving his position as executive director of Save the Bay.
His contributions, along with those of his predecessors, John Scanlon and Trudy Coxe, made Save the Bay into a national model of what a grassroots NGO can become when it such an obvious sense of stewardship for its resources and for the wonder that is Narragansett Bay.
Curt guided STB through a transition, from establishing a hold in mainstream business and decision-making circles, to being omnipresent at the table in helping to guide major state and regional policy.
All the accolades that greeted his announcement were well-deserved. On a personal note, P. knew that it would be difficult for Curt to follow in the footsteps of the demure, shy, and low-key Trudy Coxe. But Curt, long the silent manager in the background who kept Save the Bay on an even keel, won us over during his first news conference after Coxe’s departure. He wore argyle socks, as much of a stepping-out fashion statement as we had ever seen him present. From that point on, we knew all would be in good hands.
Congrats and thank you, Captain Spalding.
Hot wiener gossip
Might Phillipe + Jorge suggest to a certain state senator that he show up earlier at the New York System wieners in Olneyville, perhaps a bit less tired and emotional, if he wishes to be seated at the counter and given the same preferred status as Providence’s finest at closing time?
But then again, “It wasn’t that pathetic.”