Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Force Was With Her

Hillary manages to stay in the race with big wins in Ohio and Rhode Island and a squeaker in Texas. Democrats take that next step closer to a contested convention.


I must admit, I didn't think Hillary could pull out the major wins she needed yesterday to stay alive in the race. I wrote off Hillary because she couldn't run to the left of uber liberal Obama and because the fawning press and huge crowds Obama was drawing to his "post-partisan" neo-religious movement seemed unstoppable.

So what happened?

Hillary's "Who do you want to answer the phone at 3 a.m." advertisement was apparently quite effective. Obama is the weakest of all the viable presidential candidates on national security and this ad drove that point home while side-stepping Iraq. Exit polls showed that voters in Ohio said she would make a better Commander in Chief by 57% to 40%. Then there was Hillary's appearance on Saturday Night Live where the skits ridiculed the press corps for being in the tank for Obama. That clearly had an effect as the press corps finally begin to treat Obama as a candidate rather than the second coming of the messiah. Add to that the stumble by the Obama campaign on the NAFTA issue and it obviously made a huge difference, particularly in Ohio where Hillary far outperformed the pre-election polls.

And then there was another surprise. I listened to Obama's speech last night. There was a distinct lack of emotionalism in the crowd - which is the very fuel of Obama's candidacy - let alone the adoration I had heard from the crowds during his past speeches. The rhetoric was the same; the crowd response was not. It may just have been that the Texas crowd was depressed by the reality of an Obama loss in the state's primary. But if Obama has peaked and comes to be seen as another politician rather than a movement above the political fray, his problems are just beginning.

So what now?

Hillary stays alive and picks up a few more delegates than Obama. She is still far behind on the elected delegate count. The super delegates will come under ever more pressure to declare for one candidate or another. Hillary will continue to press for seating delegates from Michigan and Florida. And the Democrats will move ever closer to what has the potential to be a visciously contested nominating convention in late August. That is, at least, if Hillary can continue to cut into Obama's delegate lead. Wyoming (18 delegate - Democratic only) and Mississippi (40 delegates) hold their primaries in the coming week, with the next big prize, Pennsylvania (188 delegates), not scheduled until April 22.

Update: In what can only be considered a horrendous omen for Obama, Hillary, with her win in Rhode Island, has captured the mantle of "Hope."

Rhode Island State Flag:

(H/T: Instapundit)


gene said...

...Cute observation... only it should have been a ball and chain to be a tag apropos to Hillary .

WomanHonorThyself said...

the force..heh..or something eh!..great work Wolf!:)