Wednesday, February 20, 2008

"Hillary, these aren't the delegates you're looking for...."

The Political "Brief"
Obamamentum tramples Hillary, McCain continues to slap Huckabee

When discussing last night's Wisconsin primary with M. Hunter Griffin, reviewer for Time Out Chicago, I made a prediction that I'll repeat here: if Hillary loses by more than 10 points in WI, she loses overall. Now I know she didn't fully compete in WI, that she has been focused on Ohio and Texas since the Chesapeake disaster, but there is still, demographically, strong support for her in WI. Not enough for her to win, I argued, but enough to keep it closer than not, and if she did lose big, it would mean her base voters - blue collar, women, low-income - were abandoning her.

I consider the returns to be damning for the carpetbagger Senator from New York. With his stunning victories in WI and Hawaii, Obama has captured TEN victories in a row. Arguments can be made for caucuses going his way, for large blocks of blacks, for Hawaii being his homestate, but that doesn't explain Maryland or Wisconsin. It doesn't explain why Virginia was such a catastrophic loss for Hillary, not entirely. Her support is slowly eroding, even as senior party officials wring their hands at their choice's fading numbers.

March 4th: mark that on your calendar. It will be the day Hillarious Clinton sees Obama mercilessly beat her campaign to death. She will win Ohio, if the poll numbers hold, but will lose Texas in the delegate battle. Her supporters there are latino, and they haven't voted as much in the last two primaries as Obama's key racial demographic, blacks. See, this is how Texas awards delegates to districts, based on voter turnout in the previous two primaries. The Texas Democratic party basically rewards voter turnout, regardless of population. If it were up to raw popular vote numbers, I'd say Hillary has a stronger chance, but she doesn't.

What follows is a little opinion, a small amount of sympathy for what Hillary's no doubt thinking, and a brief departure from the tenuous grip on balance I've tried to maintain.

Her only saving grace is hammering to the voters her record of, you know, doing stuff. Obama, some argue, has been running for President since he was first elected to the Illinois state house. He'll have been a US Senator for less than a full term, introducing no major legislation, campaigning on rhetoric and the ephemeral "hope" platform where concrete successes are absent. I know his supporters argue otherwise, that he is the fresh voice we need, that his experiences trump Hillary's experience, but dreams need anchors in reality. MLK marched for his dreams, he forced awareness and created beachheads in the greater public consciousness of civil rights absence or abuse. Obama is no MLK; his speeches, filled with amazing control and excellent pacing, are more examples of how to give a great speech than provide a concrete foundation for change. This is where I'll agree with Hillary that we need a candidate with solutions, not speeches. Great success begins with expansive vision; it moves from conception to reality by hard work and intelligence and laying out that elusive roadmap. I've listend to Obama and read his press and have yet to see that roadmap, or a glimmer of it.

Okay, I got that out.

Michelle Obama also claimes that now is the only time she has ever being proud of America, or being an American. One of the two. So, 44 years living here, and now that she and Barack are famous, it's all good? If you guessed she's being ripped apart by the Clintons, McCain, talk radio and pundits, you'd be right.


McCain beat Huckabee, surprise surprise.

If Huckabee stays in after the (eventual) McCain victories on March 4th, know this: he does not want to be VP - he's trying to be a third party candidate. He claims he is in for principle, for ideas, not ego. Does that mean he is gathering "conservative" support around him for an eventual schism in the Republican party? Maybe. I think he is shaping himself into a leader of the "true" Right, while Romney is wisely supporting McCain and realizing that fomenting a major split in the (R)s damages any chance they have of winning this Fall.


If something politically noteworthy happens, I'll post a bit. If not, I'll see you March 3rd.


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