Wednesday, March 12, 2008
And highwayscribery thought Obama was winning...
Illinois Sen. Barack Obama continued his implausible march toward becoming the Democratic Party's nominee for president with a resounding 24 percentage-point win over Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) in the Mississippi primary.
Obama's triumph demonstrated his continued strength with the key Democratic constituency of African-Americans, which at one time appeared ambivalent toward his campaign and sympathetic to the Clinton legacy.
It came on the heels of a victory in the Wyoming caucuses where the electorate's composition is overwhelmingly white and further demonstrated the candidate's multi-racial appeal.
The wins served to erase both the delegate gains and claims to momentum made by the Clinton campaign following its Ohio success.
The above is what Bill Clinton called a "fairy tale" prior to the New Hampshire primary and it is a song no longer being sung in our land.
The current wisdom has Obama in trouble over the fact blacks support him unequivocally. It permits Hillary Clinton to continue paying a lamentable Geraldine Ferraro over bungle-headed comments attributing the frontrunner's remarkable success to his race.
It is a magical realism yarn that maintains Clinton's claims of momentum and supports her interpretation that places where Obama wins are not as important as those where she does.
It is a narrative that stokes the fantasy of some immaculate disconnect between the will of party-rank-and-filers and the "superdelegates."
It foreshadows these party regulars jumping to Clinton en masse after she wins Pennsylvania, which is a foregone conclusion, because only she can win THE BIG STATES
The press continues to harp on Obama's "bad week," even though the senator walked away with more delegates in Texas than Clinton did.
That fact coupled with Wyoming could not change the media's takes.
On "This Week with George Stephanopolous" the host confronted George Will, Cokie Roberts, and Sam Donaldson with the hard reality of Obama's delegate lead.
The only one at the roundtable to work as a political operative, Stephanopolous knows the mechanics of choosing party nominees, but the three Dodos joining him shrugged off his sagacity to ply the superdelegate tsunami scenario.
Donaldson said the Obama campaign would "implode."
We see no implosion. We see a campaign rolling along, raising money in greater amounts the Clinton's, picking up more delegates than Clinton's, collecting more popular votes than Clinton's, all in some parallel universe not covered by our mass media.
Only the Bloomberg News Service seemed, in an understated way, to capture the true balance of a week's campaigning and voting since Ohio.
Here are the two most quote-worthy passages:
"To win the nomination, a candidate needs 2,025 delegates. Because the Democratic Party awards delegates proportionally based on voting in congressional districts or statewide, a candidate needs to win by a wide margin to gain an edge. Even a 60 to 40 percent victory can mean the delegates are divided almost evenly.
Thus, Clinton, 60, faces an uphill battle to come even close to Obama on pledged delegates."
The writer, Catherine Dodge, quotes Colby College Professor of Government Anthony Corrado as saying, "Clinton hasn't begun to catch up in the delegate race."
Others are highlighting the prospect of "re-dos" in Michigan and Florida with an underlying implication that Obama will lose those states the way he has been losing them all.
But wait, the current count is 30 contests for Obama, 14 for Clinton.
The storytellers are peddling the Clinton spin of a "showdown" in Pennsylvania where Obama needs only to stay within 25 percentage points of Bill's wife to hold steady.
A showdown is something that occurs between equals, not between someone who won 11 contests in a row, effectively pocketing the nomination, and someone else who lacks the grace to cease deluding her supporters and act in the selfless manner required to close the widening rift within her political party.
Someone who needs to let go of her own fairy tale.