Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Are We There Yet?

Once again we have had another shake of the election magic eightball; once again we have gotten the answer to our deepest ; darkest question: "reply hazy, please try again later." Hillary clipped Obama in Indiana by two whole percentage points. With 99% of the vote in it was 51%/ 49%. She squeaked by. It was an ugly win. Polls had her up to about 55% in the Hoosier state but she under performed that expectation.

Obama came close to putting away Ms. Clinton but once again close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades and atom bombs. Hillary was able to wrestle the jump ball of Indiana from Barack' s hands. Once again the meme was Barack can not close the deal.

In North Carolina Clinton got plastered. She suffered a double digit loss. Final answer was 56%/ 42% a gap of twelve percentage points. The worst part of the blow-out was the 90%/10% split among African Americans. Equally troublesome for Barack was Hillary's non-black numbers which the BBC reported as 58%

If anything the results reflect the Democrats damned it you do, damned if you don't dilemma. Outside of the February results Barack has failed to pull in white and Latino votes. Hillary on the other hand has not gotten any significant black vote since, well, never. She lost the melanin enhanced set in South Carolina and lost them huge. Since that day she and the black community have come to a parting of the ways.

Is there any possibility that the Clintons can mend fences with black voters if she somehow gets the nod? It is becoming a very dicey proposition. Each passing primary has the Black community more heavily invested in Obama's candidacy. As Obama racks up more delegates and votes it becomes that much harder to justify not giving him the nomination.

However, Barack's weakness outside of the black community is also becoming more apparent too. In the General Barack will not be able to win states on the strength of the black vote alone. He is certainly going to have do a heck of lot better than 42% of the non-black vote. Democrats have been getting creamed in the lunch-bucket set for ages. The last Democrat to do well in this measurement was JFK.

Barack's coalition has a huge hole in it. White, ethnic blue collars and Latinos have weighed the chosen one and found him wanting. He does well with Blacks; he does well with creative types and young voters. He stinks with lower income whites, Women and rural voters. Even with his NC victory he still is going to have to overcome getting abused in the WVa and Kentucky primaries. He has not broken the pattern; he got close in Texas and then again in Indiana but the mold held. The last possible game changer is Oregon. Unfortunately, the expectation is for Obama to win Oregon.

Fortunately for Hillary and Obama the Democratic brand is still doing rather well. Don Cazayoux manage to beat his Republican challenger in a special election in a very Rock-Ribbed-Republican district. If the Donkeys kick the Elephants to the curb in Mississippi's 1st district ten days hence; it will mean that the Republicans are in very deep Kimchi come November. In such an anti-Republican atmosphere the choice of Democratic candidate might just be moot. The Donkeys could run a corpse and still win.

Howard Dean said it best; it is the looser of the primary process that will make or break the Democratic presidential bid. As the rest of the primaries are pretty much a foregone conclusion it is high time the Supers made their choices known. They can go on electability , they can go on number of votes cast or number of delegates, they can force Hillary and Barack to go best out of three rock-paper-scissors, they can consult the Madam Garbanzo and her Ouija board. Just make a damn decision that is why they are the supers- to make the call in close primary like this one. After the call is made there will be a no whining rule; both Hillary and Barack will be absolutely thrilled with Madam Garbanzo's call. Both Hillary and Barack will be humbled by her wisdom. Both will campaign vigorously against John McCain and for every down ticket Democrat with no exception and with a freeking smile on their face.

Seriously, Hillary will need every bit of Barack's charm and support to pull off a victory. Barack will need Hillary's ceaseless attacking spirit to bury McCain in November. Only Hillary will get the lunch bucket set to vote Obama; only Obama can restore the black community to Hillary. When the decision is made both have got to live by it. Both Hillary and Barack have got to get over their mutual contempt for each other and work as a team whoever is the nominee.

Barack especially needs to get over himself and learn a thing or two from Hillary. She has brilliantly channeled John Edwards themes into her run. Barack foolishly ignored the Edwards and their passions. If he had done a better job of listening to John and Elizabeth he could have won Ohio and Indiana. Instead Barack dropped the ball with the Edwards; his contempt for them nearly pushed them into declaring for Clinton. It is a tall order for Senator Hope, for him to stop believing his own hype. Again he needs to learn from Clinton - in politics NOTHING is inevitable; you have to fight for every vote if you want to win. Hillary has definitely channeled the fighting spirit of Harry S Trueman when will Barack show a little spunk?
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