Thursday, July 3, 2008

An Exclusive Interview with Will Bower

An Exclusive Interview With Will Bower, Co-Founder of PUMA (Party Unity My A**)
News Type: Other — Wed Jul 2, 2008 8:13 AM EDT

PUMA Website / Just Say NO DEAL

PUMA Website / Just Say NO DEAL
PUMA, which stands for Party Unity My A**, is a group of democrats (and, for that matter, Republicans) who feel disenfranchised by the DNC, the party elite and Barack Obama. They say they can see through Obama's persona. They say they the media tried to marginalize Hillary Clinton, as the media is trying to do with PUMA and it's supporters. PUMA reportedly has 2 million members, not counting the ones who may not be aware of their existence.
In an exclusive Newsvine interview, Will Bower, the co-founder and spokesman for PUMA answered some questions:

Q: Overall, what would you say is PUMA's main initiative?

A: One of PUMA's main initiatives is to safeguard and promote the democratic process.

Q:In Michigan, Barack Obama received 29.5 delegates that were marked as 'uncommitted'. Do you feel that was fair?

A: I don't feel that that was at -all- fair.

Q:Since you think it was unfair that Obama received 29.5 delegates that weren't actually his, how do you think the delegates should have been divided?

A: Firstly, I think Michigan should have been granted a waiver long before any names were taken off the ballot.

Secondly, Obama should have never taken his name off the ballot. He did not do so out of "compliance" or "respect", as this was never asked of the candidates. He removed his name as to avoid a recorded loss to Hillary in Michigan. His poll numbers were poor and were falling in the days leading up to his withdrawal from the Michigan ballot.
Thirdly, we've always used the "Uncommitted" option for delegates in the past, for exactly situations as these. Those Uncommitted delegates would have still had the option to vote for Obama at Convention and could have been lobbied and encourage to do so in the months beforehand.

So, in short, I believe Hillary should have received all of her delegates, and Obama should have then had the option to secure the Uncommitted ones.

Q: If Hillary Clinton was the Democratic Party nominee, do you think there would be a PUMA organization of Obama supporters who feel the same way PUMA does?

A: Yes, I do. However, I don't feel that they would be as well positioned to affect the election as we PUMAs are now.

Q:You say you feel 'hoodwinked' by the DNC, why is that? What did they specifically do that betrayed Clinton supporters?

A: As for what the DNC specifically did to betray Clinton supporters... There are *many* specifics... disproportional delegate allocation, selective application of "rules", wrongful disenfranchisement of voters, bias of supposedly "impartial" party leaders, and selecting a candidate over the true will of their own people.

Q:When you say 'wrongful disenfranchisement of voters, bias of supposedly "impartial" party leaders, and selecting a candidate over the true will of their own people', are you implying super delegates? If so, do you think the super delegate system should be abolished?

A: I wasn't making any references to super delegates. I was talking mostly of Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi was supposed to be an impartial referee in all of this. However, she consistently underminded Clinton's message at every turn. Whenever Clinton spoke of a unity ticket, Pelosi went to the media to say that that would be a bad idea. Whenever Clinton spoke of the virtues of the popular vote, Pelosi went to the media to say that the popular vote was irrelevant.

Q:If you desire to change the political process by defying the nomination of Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee what change is it you are trying to create?

A: We are holding the parties accountable. Our motto: "If the parties won't uphold democratic principles, who will? If the voters don't hold the parties accountable, who will?"

Q:Personally, out of both major party candidates, who do you feel best deserves to be President of the United States?

A: Given that the Democratic Convention hasn't been held, and that Obama is only the
"presumptive" nominee, I will still say "Hillary Clinton". However, if you are asking for me to choose solely between Obama and McCain... I would choose "McCain".

Q:Why do you feel out of the 2 presumptive nominees McCain most deserves to be President?

A: At this point it boils down to two words for me... "trust" and "experience".

Q:If Hillary Clinton was the democratic nominee, do you feel she would have a better shot a defeating John McCain in the general election?

A: Yes, I do.

Q:Why would Hillary have a better shot in the General Election than Obama?

A: As we saw the primary season progress, we saw that Hillary's message was resonating with those voting blocks that have been deciding our elections for many a decade... especially swing voters in swing states. In terms of issues, I believe that the economy is and will be of extreme importance in November, and I feel that voters are much more confident in Hillary's ability to address the U.S. economy than they are with either Obama's or McCain's.

Q:After Hillary's run do you feel as if the reality has come that a woman can become President?

A: Yes, I do.

Q:Do you believe that a main stream media infatuation with Obama was key in his victory over Clinton?

A: I believe that it was a key, yes. I feel that insider preference within the DNC was another.

Q:You call supporters of Hillary Clinton who believe Obama was wrongfully given the nomination 'a sleeping giant'. How big do you think this mass of people who feel this way really is?

A: The coaltion represents over 2,000,000 people... and that's just including the people we *know* about via online means. The number is certainly larger, if you include the many other voters out there who feel similarly but are not involved in online activities. I will also note that our numbers are growing steadily and strongly.

Q:Is it mostly middle aged women that are members/supporters of PUMA?

A: Middle aged women are indeed well represented within the PUMA movement; however, the movement is still a very diverse one.

Q:Do you think that Obama's relationship with William Ayers, Rev. Wright, and other controversial entities is relevant?

A: To an extent, yes, I do. However, personally, I am not a PUMA because of that issue.

Q:What about John McCain's seeking, receiving and rejection of an endorsement from Pastor John Hagee?

A: I feel that the relationship between McCain & Hagee is so less significant than is the relationship between Obama & Wright that I feel that it is almost irrelevant to compare the two situations.

Q:Do you feel that a perverted media has produced an election season that is mostly based on appearances, patriotism, religion, and gaffes and other pointless gibberish rather than the real issues?

A: Indeed, I do. If this had been about real issues, I believe that Hillary Clinton would solidly be the Democratic nominee today.

Q:In the end, who do you believe will be the next President of the United States?

A: Believe it or not, I still believe that Hillary Clinton has a reasonable path to victory in 2008. I'm not yet prepared to say that I "believe" that either John McCain or Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States.


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Anonymous said...

Will - Nice job. Much more succinct than you've been in the past. I really applaud you on this interview. You answered difficult questions directly and briefly and without mincing words. Great job! Thank you.

pumawhisper said...

I had the volume full force and couldn't hear Cynthia, could you put the questions and responses in writing like you did for Will on line. Thanks
I could hear callers and moderator just fine. Yes I do have a hearing loss but could hear the others the 3rd line Cynthia I couldn't hear.

Patricia said...

Thank You, Will...I appreciate your honesty with how you answered these questions...I believe as you do...that Hillary has a shot at winning the White House in November...I fear Obama and what could happen to us should he win...I don't trust him...Hillary was treated so unfairly throughout this whole ordeal...we can all hope that things change...take it to the Convention.....Once again, Will..thank you for what you believe in...I applaud you!!

seasonedcook said...

My feelings are exactly like
the 1st 3 responses...I fear Obama..
That is an awful thing to say...
But I do...I don't believe you can trust him. I want Hillary to be president more then anything else.
This country is in bad shape, in more ways then one...I feel she is the only person that can get us back on track...I want us to have values in this country that are true and just, not the values of an elitist or the Media..Thank you so much Will, for answering the questions as honest as you can...
We need Hillary...and Puma is the
way to go if anyone has doubts about getting her elected, I believe Puma will help get her elected...So many of us are confused as to what she really wants at this moment...I feel that she is being railroaded into helping Obama...I can't stand
Nancy...I believe she is two faced, and not so honorable...Other wise
we would be impeaching Bush...
Thank you for this article....