Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Each did what they had to.
Clinton needed a win, Obama needed to keep it under 10 and whittled the difference between them to 8 percent. Which means the dynamic of the race remains unchanged and the Illinois senator's lead in delegates would appear insurmountable.
Obama's strategy is now numerical and defensive, rooted in an unlikely 10-straight run of electoral contests in February. The fatal Clinton mistake, for the New York senator's stature as a national figure grows even if the daily coverage is more negative and sniper-like. She is of course, subject to a law of diminishing returns in attacking the party's likely nominee.
Therein the Obama camp's consternation. That rather than question why he can't "close the deal" Senator Clinton would accept that it happened already. The challenge is to win the most primaries, not the biggest ones.
Even were she disinclined to, Clinton must soldier on now. "Hillary" supporters are reveling in the campaign's epochal projection. From a feminist perspective, every day on the campaign trail goes where woman has not before, becomes another page in a history being written.
The celebration is understandable.
Her concerns about Obama's ability to woo her demographic is mirrored in Clinton's total collapse among blacks, youth, and educated Democrats - who in spite of their demonization - have proven quite a capable political class this primary season.
The "L.A. Times" noted that in Pennsylvania, Obama made gains with groups purportedly immune to a discourse of hope. Four percent better with whites (38 percent) than in Ohio, 11 percent better with voters over sixty-five (37 percent), and 5 points better with white men (44 percent) than he did in Ohio.
So Obama, slowed, continues to move in the right direction and if he can't shake Clinton, she can't seem to break, so much as shrink him.