Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Not Quite Yet With The Fat Lady

After a narrow victory in Indiana and a blow-out loss in North Carolina, both being below expectation performances for Hillary Clinton, one would think the fat lady is warming up. But Jules Crittenden has the full round-up, and as he notes, those writing Hillary's political obituary are just not looking close enough. He sifted through the remains of last night's primaries with rescue dogs and pronounces this morn that he found Hillary, she is alive, compos mentis and still eye gouging. The WSJ also provides a thorough analysis.


This from Jules Crittenden today:

TIME, Drudge note the media willing to declare Hillary dead. So what? I’d say this is a more relevant film clip. The only way she dies soon is if the superdelegates organize themselves to club her. Maybe I’m missing something. Don’t these people know about the eye gouging?

. . . She fighting this to the end, and nothing that’s happened yet trumps her November argument. If anything, Obama’s poor showing with working white Americans bolsters it.

Read the whole post and his thoughts on the various other commentaries. Of particular note are JC's concluding remarks on a post by Don Surber:

Surber on whether white voters will go for Obama in November. No, he says, but it isn’t about race. Well, not entirely, though it is ironic that thanks to the black racism on Obama’s spiritual guide, the first viable black presidential candidate actually does have a race problem. Surber also thinks Obama’s the one and already misses Hillary. Oh ye of little faith … how can we miss her when she has no intention of going away?

The WSJ, which JC also sites, writes:

With his victory in North Carolina on Tuesday, Barack Obama took a giant step toward the Democratic presidential nomination. The irony is that he is doing this just when Hillary Clinton has finally exposed his potential weaknesses as a general election candidate.

The Illinois Senator can certainly breathe easier having dodged a loss in North Carolina, where he once held a big lead. As usual, he swept the under-30 crowd as well as the educated, upscale liberals in the central part of the Tar Heel State. . . .

But his victory in North Carolina depended heavily on his overwhelming (91%) share of the black vote, which made up about a third of the primary electorate. Mrs. Clinton won 61% of white Democrats in North Carolina, according to the exit polls, and 65% of white Democrats in Indiana. Mrs. Clinton also broke even among independents. Clearly Mr. Obama's early promise of a transracial, postpartisan coalition has dimmed as the campaign has progressed and voters have learned more about him.

The controversy over his 20-year association with his pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, seems to have hurt in particular. About half of North Carolina Democrats said the Wright issue mattered to them, and they voted decisively for Senator Clinton. The former First Lady won easily among late deciders, which also suggests that Mr. Obama's rocky recent performance has cost him. And the Chicagoan continued his poor showing with rural voters, especially in white Democratic counties in Indiana. These are the voters John McCain will have a chance to get in November.

These are also the data points the Clinton campaign will now press with the superdelegates who will ultimately decide this contest. But the bitter political fact for the New York Senator is that her late-game rally may not matter. To nominate Mrs. Clinton now, party insiders would have to deny the nomination to the first African-American with a serious chance to be President, risking a revolt among their most loyal voting bloc.

The truth is that most Democratic pros are so confident of their November prospects that they believe either Senator will defeat John McCain. . . .

Judging by his victory speech last night, the Illinois rookie has already begun to pivot to a general election strategy. He tried to address his vulnerabilities on national security and cultural values. And he began to recast his personal story as an affirmation of the American dream – in contrast to the image presented by his much-delayed condemnation of Rev. Wright's anti-American conspiracy theories.

One habit of modern Democrats is that they tend to fall in love with candidates who are both unknown and untested. The superdelegates will now have to decide if Mr. Obama is more like the Jimmy Carter of 1976 – or Michael Dukakis.

Read the entire article. Hillary is not dead yet, but her wounds appear mortal to me. Her choice for the Kentuck Derby was incredibly metaphorical. She is coming in a clear second to Big Brown and the only way this will end is when she is euthanized on the track by her party once the race is finished.

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