Just to do this properly, Sen. Obama wins North Carolina by 14 and comes within 2 in Indiana, effectively ending the race for the Democratic nomination. (Yes, it was already over, but now it’s really, really over.) When I got home late last night, Clinton had cancelled all of her public appearances, and it seemed reality had finally set in. But, no, word this morning is she will press on, and continue to burn money and goodwill for no apparent reason. Still, even if her campaign remains gracelessly in denial, I’d expect high-profile Clinton supporters will soon close the deal for her regardless. (Former Clinton backer George McGovern, for one, has now switched to Obama and is urging her concession.) So, the upshot is we’re done here, folks. It’s all over but the cryin’. And Senator Barack Obama of Illinois is our Democratic nominee.
Update: Sen. Obama picks up four more supers (one formerly a Clinton supporter, so it’s Obama +5 to Clinton’s +1), while Sen. Clinton’s Senate backers start looking for the exit. And May 20 is the new May 6.
California officially certifies its delegate count from Super Tuesday, and, as it turns out, Senator Obama has picked up eight more delegates there. That’s twice as many as Clinton received on her big “blowout” day of March 4th, when, delegate-wise, she won Ohio and, it seems, lost Texas. Update: Just to clarify, I should say Obama picked up four more delegates in CA, which Clinton in turn lost. So Obama +4, Clinton -4, a.k.a. an eight-delegate swing.
Next up, two debates, then the line in the sand: March 4, Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island, and Vermont. These are huge and crucial states, and they will dictate how much longer Sen. Obama has to face a debilitating two-front war. But, I might as well come clean. I’ve been saying this elsewhere since the Potomac primaries, and now I’ll go ahead and say it here: The math is virtually inexorable now, and Sen. Clinton has lost. Her campaign even conceded thus a week ago. It’s now just a question of how badly she and her campaign wants Obama to bleed before she drops out. (To his credit, Mitt Romney got out early so as not to hamstring his party’s candidate in the general. Sadly, I doubt we can expect the same of Sen. Clinton.)
This is not to say Ohioans, Texans, Rhode Islanders, and Vermonters, to say nothing of Pennsylvanians, Kentuckians, North Carolinians, etc., should now become complacent. Far from it — now’s the time to redouble our efforts, and end this race, sooner rather than later. The tide has turned, and, to quote my former employer (who would tell Sen. Clinton the same), “When your opponent is drowning, throw the son of a bitch an anvil.” All that being said, I just don’t see Sen. Clinton coming back at this point. And, if she somehow finds a way to wrest the nomination from Obama, it’ll have been by dragging the Democratic party so deeply through the mud of asinine smears and obvious half-truths that the nomination will be worthless. It is time for her to go.
It’s late, I’m still waiting for the Hawaii results, and I’m still pretty peeved about Clinton’s ridiculous plagiarism gambit. But, If you’ll forgive the lapse into LotR metaphors, the treason of Saruman, once the noblest and wisest of our order, is almost subdued. The Battle for Middle-Earth is only beginning.
Eight days after the fact, Sen. Clinton picks up a win in New Mexico by 2000 votes (of 150,000 cast), giving her a 2-delegate edge (14 to 12) in the state. But, unfortunately for the Clinton campaign, New Mexico was a caucus state, and thus “not significant.” Oh well, sorry, y’all.
In South Carolina, Barack Obama wins in a rout, beating Hillary Clinton by 28 points and winning more votes than Clinton and Edwards combined. (And, as Andrew Sullivan noted tonight, Obama also scored more Palmetto votes than McCain and Huckabee combined…something to consider for the general election.) Some of the interesting numbers:
So now, we move to Super Tuesday, and the main demographic problem facing Senator Obama — the generation gap among whites — remains. (How the generation that coined the term “Don’t trust anyone over 30” became so distrustful of Obama’s Kennedyesque appeal remains, frankly, more than a little depressing.)
But, hope remains, while the company is true. I’ve been volunteering at Obama events over the past week and expect to continue to do so over the next nine days. Let’s each of us do what we can. The stakes are too high not to give it our all…And, if South Carolina is any indication, the times are definitely a-changin’.
“This feels good. It’s just like I imagined it when I was talking to my Kindergarten teacher.” As the focus now moves to New Hampshire in four days (here’s a good historical overview of the Iowa-to-NH bounce), some interesting facts about Obama’s resounding victory in the Iowa Caucus last night: