The Communist Party USA, with its influence in the union and peace movements and its allies and supporters in the Democratic Party, may well be king makers in the US presidential elections.
There is no doubt that the CPUSA will back whoever the Democrats choose to take on the Republicans, just as they backed Kerry in 2004.
The question is which of the three main contendors, Edwards, Clinton or Obama, will they back in the primaries for the Democratic nomination.
The party insists it will endorse no particular candidate for the nomination, but I have my doubts.
There is considerable evidence that the CPUSA is leaning towards Barack Obama.
In a July report by CPUSA chairman Sam Webb, The Right’s Last Dance-2008 Elections , the party leader wrote;
As for the presidential candidates, we aren’t going to endorse one either now or later; although we should note that unlike in previous campaigns extending back nearly 30 years, the front-runners are cleaving in a progressive direction, including Clinton.
Of the front-runners, Edwards offers the most programmatically, but at the same time, neither is he light years ahead of Obama or Clinton.
We have to acknowledge the historic nature of Obama, Clinton and Richardson’s campaigns. A victory by any one of them – and I believe every one of them could win –would be historic. Furthermore, I believe that the country is ready to elect an African American or a woman or Mexican American to the Presidency.
I don’t accept (and I don’t think that we should accept) the conventional wisdom or grapevine talk that a Black American is unelectable, that the American people are not ready for it. What is the basis for such a claim? We do know that Massachusetts elected an African American governor in 2006, that Illinois a U.S. Senator in 2004, and Tennessee nearly an African American Senator in 2006.
The Illinois senator in 2004, that Webb refers to was of course Barack Obama.
According to a November 2004 article in the CPUSA’s Peoples Weekly World
Obama won without much visible support from Chicago’s Democratic political machines. He campaigned with an army of volunteers that had multiplied since his primary victory in February. His landslide victory then was propelled by widespread support in the African American and Latino communities, a section of labor, peace activists, and progressive independent political clubs.
This is communistspeak, for “we helped Obama get elected“
The CPUSA was open about campaigning for Obama in the primary;
(Communist Party)activists from Illinois were immersed in the campaign to elect Barak Obama to the U.S. Senate. Obama won a landslide victory in the March 16 Democratic primary.
“This was a historic victory. It was a victory for political independence and grassroots, coalition, and issue oriented politics over the machine and money,” said John Bachtell, Illinois Communist Party district organizer.
The CPUSA’s youth wing the Young Communist League claims also backed Barack;
In Chicago we helped to form a youth vote operation to elect Barak Obama.
Barack Obama has been the subject of several articles in the CPUSA press, while Edwards and Clinton have enjoyed only minor coverage.
Now Obama has made the Marxist equivalent of appearing on the “cover of Rolling Stone“
The cover of the CPUSA’s theoretical journal Political Affairs no less. Is that an honour or what!
The cover story Who’s Afraid of Barack Obama?, by Political Affairs editor Joe Sims, does not openly endorse Obama, but it does make it clear that he is regarded by the CPUSA as a serious contendor.
A Black president in 2008? Just months ago, many if not most would have scoffed at the prospect. Yet as summer blossoms, so too is the candidacy of Illinois Senator Barack Obama. A recent spike in June polls, the second in three months, shows him in a statistical dead heat with the formidable Hillary Clinton of New York, with the remaining Democratic hopefuls trailing far behind.
More importantly, Sims sees Obama as the Democrat most likely to beat the Republicans;
Even more interestingly, another poll taken in the spring, surveying how candidates would compare in the general election, show Obama as the strongest Democratic candidate, coming within striking distance of defeating Giuliani, the strongest Republican in the survey. As reported by the respected Quinnipiac University poll, “Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has a slight 44 – 41 percent lead over Illinois Sen. Barack Obama in a possible 2008 presidential faceoff … Giuliani leads former Vice President Al Gore 48 – 41 percent and tops New York Sen. Hillary Clinton 49 – 40 percent.”
My guess is that the CPUSA will throw its considerable resources behind Barack Obama’s bid for the democratic nomination.
If he wins, they will be backing Barack for the US presidency in 2008.