Tuesday, May 06, 2008

what it all means

Okay, it's been a while since I've done this "night after a primary" schtick, so please accept my apologies.

And with that, let's get into the meat of it all:

As I write this, Hillary is up 40+K votes with 85% reporting in Indiana. If you're following this evening, you know that all the results from around Gary, IN are a mystery. Will it be enough to give Obama a victory?

Can I just say I hope so???

There's NO WAY that Obama should carry that vote. I think that a result THAT unbelievable will be treated exactly as that by the Clinton camp--UNbelievable. And there will be many questions. . .and many more questions. . .is it possible that this could be a new front in Operation CHAOS?

Rush, you magnificent man, you!

Seriously, though, I'm going to ASSUME that Hillary wins Indiana, probably by about 20,000 votes, which will equate to just under 2%.

This doesn't counter Obama's 14% and greater-than-200,000 vote victory in North Carolina. It's not even close.

But that doesn't mean it's over.

Listen, Hillary still has Florida out there. And if the DNC thinks they can just say "no" to Florida and not make that a HUGE issue in November. . .well, they're crazy.

McCain already played to that tune a little bit at a brief appearance on--of all places--American Idol three weeks ago. And if you don't think there's a "those Dems--they only play by the rules when it means the voice of the people is muzzled" ad in the future, well, you're just wrong.

And Clinton, of course, has the right line on this one. There was a vote, all candidates "competed" on the same terms--so that vote should be heard.

And when it's heard, that makes Clinton the victor in Florida, New Jersey, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Which stacks up pretty well from an electoral standpoint against Obama's "battleground" victories in Virginia, Missouri, Wisconsin, Colorado, and Iowa.

In other words, her main argument becomes electoral rather than momentum. Honestly, that's always been the best argument (momentum was going to die between June and August anyhow), and it doesn't lose any strength with today's outcomes.

So will she be pushed to back out? Of course. With a weaker-than-expected victory--if any victory--in Indiana and a severe underperformance in NC, there will be calls from every direction.

But I doubt she budges. And in Kentucky and West Virginia, she gets the stage she so desperately wants, following what will likely be comfortable victories (read: speech at the top of the 9:00 eastern hour rather than at the very tail end of prime time).

And then there's the Wright factor. And the Ayers factor. And can we dare hope that there's media traction with Obama's pledges to the Teamsters?

No, there's a lot of campaign left on the left. And there's the potential for a LOT of twists between now and August.

And Hillary isn't going to miss a front row seat to all that. Nor should she.


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