Wednesday, March 5, 2008

She's Back!!!.....Now What?

Despite calls from some Obama supporters for her to leave the campaign, Hillary Clinton responded by sweeping three of the four primaries yesterday, including big wins in Ohio and Texas. This came when Obama seemed to have the momentum and appeared to be cruising to the nomination. Clinton's wins broke Obama's momentum and changed the dynamic of the race for the Democrat nomination. It should get really interesting from now on.

The change in the Democrat race is more perception than reality. Obama still holds a commanding lead in pledged delegates and yesterday's results did not materially change that. The lead is so large that it is highly unlikely, if not impossible, for Clinton to match his lead in pledged delegates with the contests that remain. This is pointed out clearly in Jonathan Alter's perceptive article in Newsweek. Even if Hillary wins all remaining contests, she will still face a deficit in pledged delegates as she enters the convention.

What has changed are the perceptions of this race. The Obama campaign is no longer seen to be a juggernaut. The Clinton campaign are no longer seen as inevitable losers. Clinton attacked Obama in his weakest area, experience, and placed dents in him. Obama faced media scrutiny (albeit small) for the first time and did not seem to handle it well. Also, his reputation as a person who is above politics took a serious hit with revelations of his dealings with an indicted speculator and a terrorist bomber from the Weather underground. His honestly came into question when it became known that a surrogate assured the Canadian government that his criticisms of NAFTA were only for political purposes.

These loses, and the revelations associated with them, have hurt Obama greatly. His great delegate lead still makes him the presumptive nominee but he has a race on his hands. The Clintons will pull out all stops in following up on the successful attacks they have waged. The media, stung by accusations that they are in the tank for Obama, will show more scrutiny. Clinton will begin making waves about the Michigan and Florida delegates even as she lobbies for support of more super-delegates. The race will continue probably until the convention and maybe into it.

All of this is good news for Republicans. This should be a Democrat year but their infighting may give us great opportunities to hold the White House and maybe even to make gains in the Congress. It is difficult for many of us to wish good political outcomes for the Clintons. We have seen too much from Bill's presidency but Hillary's good news is now our good news. Every attack that she initiates against Obama is one that Republicans will not have to initiate. The Clinton campaign's railing against media bias for Obama puts the issue into the public forum without Republicans having to raise it and thus face the possible backlash.

Hillary and Bill are doing our job for us.

"You Go Girl"

-- Submitted by B. Bryant

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