Super Tuesday Postmortem

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Yesterday was the confluence of two of the greatest days in American life: Fat Tuesday and Super Tuesday. Whether that made yesterday "Super Fat Tuesday" or "Obese Tuesday" is beyond me. However, there was an awful lot of nerd brain-candy on the television screen to accompany the stomach-candy that is paczki. But because everyone already knows about the healing power of paczki, I'll keep my comments to the politics.

Somewhat of a mixed bag on the Republican side. Sure, John McCain seems to have basically wrapped up the nomination as everyone was predicting, though it will have to play out for a few more weeks. But the rest of the results were batshit crazy. For example, Mike Huckabee had a hell of a night. Pretty much swept the south, and gave McCain a run in a couple of other states (especially Mizzou). If this keeps up, he's got a really good shot of working his way to a VP nomination.

Mitt Romney, meanwhile, is having a bitch of a year. He has been saved the embarrasing title of "worst campaign ever" by the tortured existence of Rudy Giuliani, but nevertheless... Ouch. As the annointed 'alternative to McCain', he was an afterthought. Basically, he's won his own state (Massachusetts), his adopted home state (Michigan), his religious home state (Utah), and a bunch of states that don't matter, either in elections or in reality (North Dakota, I'm looking at you here...). How he continues from here is a mystery.

The Democratic results reminded me of a hampster on a wheel; a whole lot of energy exerted, but at the end of the day, everyone was roughly where you would expect. Both sides held serve, and there were few surprises (with the possible exceptions of Obama's wins in Missouri and Connectecut). Both sides declared victory, which is predictable. And they are both somewhat right; Clinton has more delegates, Obama has won more states.

Going forward, you have to like Obama's chances. The next seven states on the calendar look solid for him, and the longer things go, the more Clinton's aura of inevitability fades. I sense a nasty floor fight. Veeeeeeeery interesting.

One final thought. As a politico, I've become pretty jaded about the whole process. I work with a lot of jokers, and I've come to distrust most political speech, and to take everything said with a grain of salt. I've heard a thousand speeches, and I'd assumed that I could no longer be inspired. But then I watched Barack Obama's 'victory' speech last night.

Wow.

I'm sold. I'm too young to have seen JFK, but Obama just seems Kennedy-esque to me. Maybe it's the call to higher ideals. Maybe it's the style of speech. Maybe it's the nice suits. I have no idea. But for the first time in a while, I found myself listening to a politician as a citizen, rather than as an analyst. I wasn't making mental comments about which demographic he was targeting, or how the speech would play with the public. I just listen to the guy speak. And I was inspired.

Maybe it'll turn out like the Detroit Lions; every year they get my hopes up somehow, only to crush them. Perhaps Senator Obama will turn out to be completely full of shit. It's possible. But for the first time in a while, I'll actually be surprised when a politician lets me down.

12 comments:

Rickey Henderson 11:27 AM  

Yep, Rickey cast his ballot for 'Bama yesterday--Rickey digs candidates with lofty ideals. Let's hope he stands up against the Hillary attack machine...

Bob "Chief Beer Advocate" 1:25 PM  

Nice piece B Mac.

I got worked up about Obama in the beginning because he said some real amateur things about the auto industry, which will surely hurt him in the general. That said, I cannot help but like the guy. Now that Edwards is long gone, I am really rooting for him and may send him some dough.

I am thankful that the Democratic Party jettisoned the South. The Democratic Party took a beating for a couple decades as the rednecks in the South switched to the Republican party and voted for Reagan and the Bush’s. But now that there has been a realignment of states like Michigan, Colorado and the Northwest States, we can elect a President without the South. Now that the bigots don’t participate in our primaries (as much) we have a chance to nominate a guy like Obama. The guy won Georgia for god’s sake. That wouldn’t have happened in the old Democratic Party.

So right now Obama essentially has a plurality of the delegates earned by votes, while the "super delegates" put HRC over the top. If in the end, the super delegates, made up of Democratic insiders and office holders, go against the popular will of the voters, all hell will break loose and the ticket will take a beating. If it’s so close at the end that the Michigan and Florida results can change the outcome, we are also screwed. All I can say is gulp.

Smitty 4:30 PM  

Great work, b mac.

I am nervous about the rest of the primaries and about the convention later this fall. I really want Obama to win for several reasons that I'll get into when I have more time to post a comment. But for now, HRC disappoints me and honestly stands a better chance, in my mind, of losing to McCain (the Indy vote). Imagine who wins between Obama and Mccain. Imagine the ill-tempered old white guy versus the vibrant change-agent.

Some of you might snark and say "I'll take the moderate R, curmudgeonly or no." But Obama offers an ideal that this jaded lobbyist really wants to see.

steves 5:43 PM  

I am sold on Obama too and may vote for a Dem president for the first time since Dukakis.

Mr Furious 5:47 PM  

LAst night's speech wasn't even a strong one by Obama standards—his rythym was off and he was visibly tired...watch the speeches from Iowa or S.C.

Or better yet, watch the speech from Ted Kennedy (surprisingly good) and then Obama's follow-up—freaking outstanding.

All are at his site. (Many are at mine as well)

Mr Furious 5:48 PM  

Looks like today's numbers have Obama ahead in delegates as well.

Mike 6:52 AM  

I just don't see much substance beneath the fancy rhetoric in his speeches. He's a great speaker, that's for sure. And it's not as if Hillary has any more substance to what she says.

But the guy just doesn't get me excited.

B Mac 10:04 AM  

I can't vouch for what the guy ACTUALLY believes. Or for whether he would become another typical political asshat if elected. It's quite possible that he will.

In fact, he's selling the same stuff I've heard sold a thousand times by a thousand people; change, hope, leadership, etc.

But if I am buying (and as a jaded prick/political hack, I'm a pretty tough sell), there's a pretty good chance that a lot of people are buying as well.

Sopor 10:25 AM  

Well I can say Obama excites me. The thought of a President who sounds serious about reducing corruption... I don't care what party he's from, and what his politics are. I would pick him over McCain any day. (lets just hope he ain't blowin' smoke!)

As silly as it is, I also think it might be good for our image as a country to show that we don't just elect stuffy old white men!

I'm still a fan of Ron Paul, what can I say. To me, he's a "true" republican in the sense that he is more like a Libertarian than a "modern" republican. I know he's not going to win, and I won't get to vote for him again... but his politics are more like mine and so he's still my fav.

I really hope Obama wins the Dems nomination... If so, I'll likely vote for him.

I'll give one concession to the standard Democrat politics. If they can deliver their promises of affordable healthcare and the like without increasing the tax burden on me, I have no complaints. The Feds have PLENTY of my money to do what they need to do, they just need to quit wasting money on what's not important (hmm, this war for starters***) and start using what they have responsibly. Being somewhat "accustomed" to my current tax burden, I would have no problem with better social services from the Feds, even though as a Libertarian myself I don't believe that is a Federal responsibility.


*** I want to clarify this... I'm against our current war. I am NOT against spending money to maintain our Military. The new buffalo vehicles that we've got being built in Charlotte (MI) are WONDERFUL machines and are saving lives. I would never wish the Feds to stop programs like that.

That being said, if we "bring our boys home" we won't need as many of these new trucks!!

Rickey Henderson 2:31 PM  

Romney's out!

And yet, this means rather little to Rickey.

Mike 7:22 AM  

I means a lot to me. I liked being about to make fun of the name "Mitt."

Plus, the mormon thing added some extra ammo as well. Alas.

B Mac 10:50 AM  

Yeah, I saw a Romney rally where people were holding up those giant foam hands... but instead of the foam fingers, it was a foam baseball mitt.

With originality like that, how did he lose?

Oh, that's right... because he was a tool.

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