Wednesday, March 05, 2008

What Kind of Clinton Victory?

The accompanying image contains "hit" totals from highwayscribery (homesquare) - this blog's My Space edition for the last post, "Clinton's Last Stand."

The numbers demonstrate 5063 hits on Saturday, 7754 on Sunday, and 1372 on Monday, which amount to three-quarters of the total views for the last three years.

So it was a big win for highwayscribery, except for the fact that its contents were dead wrong.

Sort of like last night's primaries.

Nobody said Senator Clinton could not win another primary. The open question was what might be achieved with such victories.

Clinton and Senator Obama split the small states (Rhode Island, Vermont). She trounced him (let's call it what it is) in Ohio and fashioned a slim win in the Lone Star State, which the Associated Press reports is being dulled by the Illinois senator's success in the Texas Caucuses.

As the "Washington Post" accurately noted only hours after the networks had called the wins for Clinton - and before the Texas caucuses started evening things out - the true result for Clinton was "Energizing Victories, But Difficult Math."

It said, "The slim margin in the Texas popular vote and an additional caucus process in which she trailed made clear that she would not win enough votes to put a major dent in Sen. Barack Obama's lead."

But she did put a major dent in Obama's image. For two weeks in a row her friends at "Saturday Night Live" portrayed this wonderful and intelligent man as a dope who got all the benefits of the press.

The result was the press jumped all over Obama and the esteem in which he was held among fellow Democrats started coming undone.

By agreeing to "fight on" and make remarks about a "shared ticket" normally the provenance of front runners -- which Obama still is -- the New York senator has further exposed him to "A Costly Battle On Two Fronts," and begun to cleave what was a very united party.

For make no mistake, in floating pictures of Obama in Muslim garb and portraying him as an empty suit, Clinton may have convinced a certain class of "serious" and "practical" Democrat that he's a latte drinking phony.

But the latte drinking phony coalition held and is real. There just weren't as many of them in what "Salon" called "old shoe Ohio," but there are enough to hold the delegate lead he won fair and square.

Maybe the scribe wasn't so wrong after all. Clinton may have won her "last stand," but it was still "a last stand."

The object of the primary season is not to prove you can "win the big states," but to capture the most delegates and Obama's small state strategy has trumped Clinton's.

Meantime, we have a split developing made up of some very bad feelings, which might have been avoided by a reasonable calculus that having lost an entire month's worth of primaries and caucuses, it was time to get out for the good of the party.

But in the end the Clintons think only about the Clintons and those of us who stood by them through impeachment and other disasters wrought of their own carelessness are faced with the frightening realization that there may have been truth to Republican accusations all along.

There are those who would like to see Obama go negative, too, which he has not, usually opting for the debater's job of "blocking" an unfair or overstated charge and moving on.

He still refuses, according to the "Two Fronts" piece:

"I have said consistently that we do things differently. It's worked for us so far. And I'm not going to do things that I'm not comfortable with."

For certain Americans, that pledge is worth more than all the detailed policy papers in the world.

No comments: