Reports of Clinton's Demise...

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

“These things happened. They were glorious and they changed the world …
… and then we fucked up the end game”
-- Charlie Wilson

Charlie Wilson's comments about the Afghan defeat of the Soviets could just as easily come from David Plouffe, Obama's campaign manager, this morning.

In case you missed it, two things happened last night. First, Hillary Clinton beat the standing eight-count, and has temporarily shushed the drumbeat of Democrats calling for her to drop out. And second, Barack Obama managed to maintain most of his (nearly) insurmountable lead among the pledged delegates.

As an Obama supporter, it was a disappointing evening. But as someone who wants to see a Democrat in the White House, it was mortifying. Coming into last night, I saw three plausible end-game scenarios for the Democrats-

  1. Obama wins Texas and/or Ohio, and Clinton bows out gracefully.
  2. One of the candidates emerges strongly enough, presumably in mid-to-late May, to force the other to release their Superdelegates.
  3. No clear winner, brokered convention, general disarray and chaos.

Obviously, #1 is out the window. And unless someone absolutely goes ape-shit in Pennsylvania on April 22, I don't see another possible "kill date" like last night for another 11 weeks (if Obama can win Oregon and Kentucky on May 20, on the heals of Indiana and North Carolina two weeks earlier, that might do it). That is nearly three months of a divided Democratic party, which gives John McCain time to sell himself among the Republican base. That's why he's having breakfast with George W. this morning. He couldn't cozy up to the right if he was already in "general election mode". But now he has the time.

I still think Obama will be the nominee. But this was a HUGE opportunity to put Clinton away. Imagine if Mr. T had gotten up off the mat in Rocky III, and Rocky had been forced to go the 15 rounds to win back the belt. Or if the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team had given up a late goal to the Soviets, and had to play an overtime period. That's what we're talking about here. You can't give Goliath a second chance (and make no mistake, the Clintons are atill Goliath in Democratic circles).

This brings a few new and intriguing scenarios into play. First and foremost among them:

Do Michigan and Florida hold "do-over" caucuses in June if necessary?

I'll elaborate later; gotta start working.


Rickey Henderson 10:57 AM  

Rickey isn't relishing the idea of this continuing into the summer, but it seems inevitable at this point. On the plus side, democratic voter turnout was HUGE last night, which bodes well for the national election.

Bob "Chief Beer Advocate" 12:26 PM  

The other thing that is good is that McCain wont' receive shit for media coverage over the next few months.

The thing is Obama is ahead in TOTAL delegates, including the so-called super delegates. If NBC's analysis is correct, HRC needs to get something like 70% of the remaining delegates to catch up.

The only way that happens is if he is caught in some outragous scandal, which won't likely happen. Instead she will go seriously negative on him, which will not be good for Democrats in the end.

Bob "Chief Beer Advocate" 1:00 PM  

BTW- B Mac is now the official ATK primary election correspondent.

Nice work.

Smitty 2:30 PM  

Yeah, B Mac, the only guy on the blog to take the time to write a political post. You're it, B Mac. You're the Political Correspondent.

Here's what I don't like about this whole thing. McCain, while he won't receive that much press coverage, now gets to switch his campaign to General Election mode. It means he gets to court the right and the indies, and strip some of them away as they become less and less certain (the indies, I mean) of whether they get Obama or Clinton. This sentiment will increase as Obama and Clinton beat the daylights out of each other over the next 2 months. This goes all the way to Denver, and that gives McCain all the time in the world to court folks. It makes Clinton that much more beatable and makes Obama more and more uncertain and possibly beatable as well.

Obama really needed, IMHO, to have had this shit wrapped up last night. Clinton might have thrown it in. But now? She's not gonna back down, neither is he, and McCain wins in November.

Bob "Chief Beer Advocate" 3:48 PM  

You know why I am not feaking out?

Because no matter what happens in November, come next year we will have a better President.

steves 7:29 AM  

I hope they have some kind of do over in MI if they plan on seating the delegates. I don't see the point in having the national leadership say one thing and then go back on it. It makes them look wishy washy and ineffective.

A lot of people that wanted Obama here got screwed. While some voted undecided, there was my dad. He voted for Obama absentee before he heard anything about voting undecided (or no preference...I can't remember) and didn't get his vote counted.

Nice post B-Mac. By the time I get a political post worked out, I am usually a few days behind when it happened. I do like the fact that we really mix it up here.

B Mac 10:01 AM  

So my mother was wrong... my Political Science degree DOES help me in the real world!

And she wanted me to be an "engineer" or a "doctor"... HA.

B Mac 10:05 AM  

An interesting 4th solution came out in recent media reports. Hillary Clinton brought up the Joint Ticket idea.

Now, this wouldn't be a big deal ordinarily (hell, the questions have been around for months), but to bring it up immediately after such important wins indicates that she MAY consider a VP nod as an option.

Just something to ponder.

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