Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Post Tuesday

Hillary (and the press) are calling it a big victory. And she did win the popular vote in Ohio and Texas. But she did not gain any ground in delegates. In fact, it appears that the majority of Texas delegates will go to Obama.

So what do we learn? First off, the results were consistent with predictions from many weeks ago. Obama couldn't "close the deal" last night and put Clinton away. But it was an uphill fight for Obama and unfortunately Clinton's 3 am phone call ad appears to have worked in Ohio. Isn't that pathetic?

I'm angry at American voters. Politicians of all stripes know a fundamental reality. Negative, nasty campaigning and ads work. No matter how disgusting it may seem, or how much they have to "hold their nose", they'll do it to win. And voters fall for it every time.

There is a war going on in the Democratic party and there is yet to be a winner. The war is between progressives who really want to change the direction of the party, and the established Democrats of the DLC stripe. I don't think we're going to know the winner of this war, and of the nomination process, until the convention. But make no mistake. If Obama emerges with a majority of the popularly elected delegates and the super delegates give it to Clinton, there will be an open civil war in the Democratic party that will put victory in November in jeopardy. I know I've said that the rules shouldn't be changed and I stand by that. I'm just talking about the realities and pressures that will be at work on superdelegates.

One thing I can guarantee. The media is eating it all up with a spoon, and to a degree the entire Clinton/Obama situation will keep McCain off the front pages and will actually help Dems. But eventually a lack of resolution will benefit only the media and Republicans, two of my least favorite groups.

Added: Congrats to AP for getting the story exactly correct:

WASHINGTON - Barack Obama regained lost ground in the fierce competition for Democratic convention delegates on Wednesday based on results from the Texas caucuses, partially negating the impact of Hillary Rodham Clinton's string of comeback primary victories

Late returns showed Clinton emerged from Rhode Island, Vermont, Texas and Ohio with a gain of 12 delegates on her rival for the night, with another dozen yet to be awarded in The Associated Press' count.

That left Obama with an overall lead of 101 delegates, 1,562-1,461 as the rivals look ahead to the final dozen contests on the calendar. It takes 2,025 to win the nomination.

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