Monday, April 21, 2008

Finally!

Tomorrow the good citizens of the Keystone state will finally vote. It has been a long and very silly six weeks since Texas and Ohio threw in there lots. While nature does not really abhor a vacuum ( most of the galaxy and the universe is just empty space) the news cycle sure does. We have been treated to poll after poll, kerfuffle after kerfuffle. Lots of strum and drang have been offered with damn little substance behind it.

First out of the box, it seems a century ago, were the Wright videos. The real question was why this mother load of political nastiness was not brought up before. Reverend Wright was the political equivalent of a train wreck causing a 20 car pile-up. The whole affair just got uglier as it went along. What was worse was the Democratic electorate going "what accident?" At least the polling data claims that Keystone voters were unimpressed by the Wright Videos.

Hillary helped bury the Wright story by telling a whopper about her service to the nation in Tuzla. Somewhere along the line she got her role confused with Sylvester Stallone in one of his Rambo movies. It could of been worse, she could have claimed to have dashed to a .50 cal on the plane and laid down suppressing fire against the mythical snipers in Bosnia. The whole affair reminded people of how fast and loose the Clintons played with the facts.

Fortunately Clinton was saved from further embarrassment when Barack stuck his foot in his mouth an proceeded to masticate throughly. Not to be too bitter, but Obama really does not get rural culture, especially the guns, guts and god bit. He also needs to work on his bowling game if he ever to get over the "elitist" meme that Republicans love to play.

Barack's team then managed to get some old audio about Hillary's disappointment with the MoveOn crowd. Neither of the candidates seems to have developed any sense of irony. MoveOn started as a pro-Clinton group who then became part and parcel of the Democratic establishment. They were rather weak on war and less than fabulous on pushing other parts of the progressive agenda. When they finally got up on their hind legs and started barking at General Petraeus, Hillary was one of the few Democrats in the Senate to vote against censure. Barack gave that particular vote a miss. What did Hillary get for her vote? She got stabbed in the back by MoveOn leadership who decided that they just had to jump into bed with Barry while the jumping was good. There was no pressing need for MoveOn to jump into the primary contest; therefore there was no pressing need for MoveOn to poll it's members for an opinion.

Not to say Hillary's campaign has been an example of how such effort should be run. More than a few staffers have been pushed off the plank. Truth be told Patti Solis Doyle and Mark Penn should have been fed to the sharks back in New Hampshire and no later than February. Husband Bill should have been put in irons right after his comments in SC. For such political professionals both Bill and Hill have been remarkably tin-eared and disjointed. The vaunted Clinton machine has been spitting out parts and leaking oil like a badly maintained Edsel. Worse yet, no one seems to be at the wheel of the vehicle as it careens over the political landscape.

Meanwhile Obama's campaign has yet to recover from hitting the brick wall that was Ohio. They did remarkably well in Texas, giving team Clinton a near death experience but in Ohio they got waxed. Obama had his first mere mortal moment since New Hampshire. He got caught with his rhetoric down with the Canadians and failed miserably getting rust-belt Democrats to vote for him. Ohio was the first time Obama's lost his luster.

Since Ohio, Obama has had a few more missteps. Despite outspending the Clintons at a phenomenal rate he has failed to bury them. The Clintons no longer enjoy a 20% margin like they used to; but PA is still theirs to loose.

If the registration for the election are any indication the vote in PA will be a record breaker. Conventional wisdom says all those new voters will break Obama's way. Some even think that Barack can gain an upset if he can get a huge turn-out in Philadelphia. In this election anything is possible. However it is just as likely that Clinton could surprise us all. Polls have been way off before and the number of undecideds is still high. Last time around the undecideds broke for Clinton in huge way in Ohio. The past is not prologue, at least not in this election.

Tomorrow we will know. Tomorrow will be the only poll that really matters; the election. Tomorrow we have something of substance to look at. A loss for Hillary means she is really done; Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi then have every right to start tossing dirt over her. A Hillary win will force a postponement of her funeral, a win of say over 9% and Barack is in deep trouble. The meme that he "Can't Close the Sale" will be writ large. He had a 3 to 1 or 5 to 1 spending advantage and a "disorganized" Clinton campaign and a media corp that is still mostly fawning and still gets creamed in the rust belt? Not good. Barack has to keep the vote close; he has to show something for that seven million bucks of TV ads he bought. Again tomorrow will tell.
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