Why End The Great Lie Now?

by: Chris Bowers

Wed May 07, 2008 at 01:09

I have a simple question: why is it that the Democratic nomination was decided tonight? What happened tonight that hadn't happened before? Here are some possibilities:

  • Hillary Clinton still won the Indiana popular vote tonight. Why is it a big deal that she didn't win by a larger amount? Winning by 4% more would have only resulted in about three more delegates for her campaign. In a campaign of over 4,000 delegates, were those three delegates somehow decisive?

  • Barack Obama won the pledged delegates in North Carolina 63-52, even though two weeks ago polls projected he would win more like 65-50 or 66-49. This also happened in Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania, only in reverse, where Obama made up big ground over the final two weeks but it didn't matter in terms of "expectations." Why does beating the final polls matter, but making up serious ground over the course of several weeks not matter at all? Who determines which expectations matter?

  • Barack Obama will net about 215,000 votes tonight, which is almost exactly the same amount Clinton won by in Pennsylvania. If the popular vote didn't change, then why is Obama's lead good enough now, when it wasn't good enough before Pennsylvania? At what point did Obama's pre-Pennsylvania popular vote lead become good enough? And why wasn't it good enough during the six weeks between Mississippi and Pennsylvania?

  • Obama will net either seven or nine delegates tonight. Were those seven or nine delegates decisive? Wasn't he already ahead by an insurmountable amount? Was he only seven net delegates away from clinching? And if he was, why didn't anyone tell us he was so close to clinching?

Fundamentally, nothing changed in the campaign tonight. The popular vote and delegate margin are basically the same as they were before Pennsylvania. If you were following the campaign closely, you knew it wouldn't change, and that all but a handful of delegates are up for grabs before any given primary night. Obama was always going to win at least 61 delegates in North Carolina, and at least 32 in Indiana. The only question was whether he would win two or three more in each state. And yet, somehow, it is over because Obama did about 4-5% better than expected in both Indiana and North Carolina, and picked up those two or three delegates in each of those states. And all this in a campaign where over 4,000 delegates are at stake.

So, please correct me if I am missing something, but if a shift of 4-5% and two or three delegates in Indiana and North Carolina is enough to end the Democratic nomination, then why didn't anyone frakking tell us that the campaign was so close to ending? Why was there this massive kabuki theater pretending that it was still a close campaign where Clinton had a legitimate chance at winning? Why were Clinton's attacks on Obama repeated again, and again, and again, without anyone mentioning that Clinton was a desperate candidate hanging by a thread who would probably say anything in order to stay afloat?

The reason is simple: the established media was never covering the Democratic nomination campaign. They were, instead, covering some form of kabuki theater where reality is ignored and liberals are ritually gutted on the public stage for the pleasure of elite, rich, white, male pundits who like to pretend they know what is in the mind of the "common man" or some other formulation that is equally rustic, offensive and laughable. That is all that we have been watching since the Wisconsin primary, since the delegates have not improved for Clinton since the Wisconsin primary (and have actually gotten much worse, if you include the supers). If we had been watching something else, then tonight would not be the end of the campaign, because nothing really changed tonight. If this is the end, then the last two and a half months have been a Clinton-fueled fairy tale, which is basically a white-hot lie about the nomination campaign. Puns intended in the previous sentence.

Update: Final Indiana delegate count is Clinton 38, Obama 34. The polls projected 38-34.

Final North Carolina delegate count is Obama 63, Clinton 52. The polls projected 62-53.

Awesome. A shift of one delegate in Obama's direction. If that is decisive, why didn't anyone tell us this thing was so close to being decided? And if I sound bitter toward the coverage of this campaign, it is because I am. Learn how to count delegates, all of you mooncalfs on national television who are not named Chuck Todd.  

Chris Bowers :: Why End The Great Lie Now?

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This is it Chris, this is what the media has been reduced to. But be warned, as more and more people begin to abandon it (as the Pew studied showed is the trend), they will be coming to people like you! Prepare, lest you be swept under the tide.

Former Edwards Supporter, Obama Supporter since January 30, 2008

Chris Bowers's comment makes the absurdly false assumption that Obama's keeping the same numerical advantage over Clinton while getting far closer to the finish-line doesn't significantly improve Obama's chances while it significantly reduces Clinton's chances.

To be 10 yeards ahead of your competitor at the 50-yard-line of a hundred-yard dash is NOT the same thing as to be 10 yards ahead of him at the 90-yard line.

The stupidity of Chris's post is simply shocking.

[ Parent ]
Amen brother ~! (0.00 / 0)
I am savoring tonight because Obama has been screwed by this game SO many times that it is sweet that this time it turns against Clinton and allows us to finish this.
But you are 150% right. It was a farce all along and shame on the media (and the cowardly SDs) for perpetuating it.

I somewhat disagree (4.00 / 3)
I think the idea was that Clinton might gain significant ground today - win Indiana big and keep North Carolina close, and maybe even win it (they seem to have hoped that she might).

She didn't do that at all - Obama won North Carolina big, and she barely held on in Indiana.  The point is that, at least since Wisconsin, for Clinton to win, Obama had to collapse.

With all the Wright escapades of the last couple of weeks, there seemed some reason to think that he might.

He didn't, so it's over.

That's an argument, at least.  I do think that you're right that there's a lot of nonsense feeding into it, though.

Also worth noting is that Obama has effectively won the pledged delegate count tonight.  Assuming he is viable in each of the remaining states and congressional districts, he has the majority.

That wouldn't have shifted much (0.00 / 0)
Say the two states shift seven points each in favor of Clinton. Overall, that means she gains about ten or twelve delegates.

Why is that enough? Why does that swing things? How are those ten or twelve delegates enough to keep her going?

Was the margin really that thin, or were we really all just pretending this whole time?  

[ Parent ]
It's because they give too much significance to momentum (0.00 / 0)
Seriously, the belief seems to have been within the media that a strong Clinton win in IN and a narrow Obama win in NC would suggest that he was cratering. That would trigger more news cycles saying as much, an idea that would only be further strengthened by next week in WV. Then, if the news cycles continue to be Obama in free fall MAYBE he loses Oregon and seems beaten. After that, the supers abandon him.

Seriously, that's how they saw this going if Clinton had a big night. Take away that first assumption though and switch out the news cycle from Clinton gaining to Obama rebounding, and suddenly its not possible.

They have been suffering from fever, and only tonight did some appear to wake up.

[ Parent ]
Who is they? (4.00 / 2)
I didn't support Clinton, and I still thought it important that she stay in the race so there can be no claim that she didn't have her shot at the candidacy. Now, that it is impossible for her to get the popular vote, it's valid to say she should quit. Nothing feverish about that. As I said, this entire post and diary feels like gloat. Not smart move at all.

[ Parent ]
It's because math is hard! (0.00 / 0)
Your average somewhat interested news consumer is not going to consult the spreadsheets, learn about PLEOs, etc. They want to know who's winning now, who's the underdog, does the underdog have a shot, etc. If a team is up 3-1 in a 7 game series, people can get that. This delegate math stuff is too complex for for that, and I suspect it's too complex or too boring for the Timmehs and the Tweeties as well.

In addition, the so called news media has a vested interest in keeping the horse race story going because it is catnip for viewers.

Also, to be fair, the super-delegate situation did make it vaguely plausible for HRC to get the nomination.  Of course, it still does, mathematically. But at a certain point, the media illusions get too hard to sustain. When the underdog suddenly cancels all their appearances, you know you are getting near that point.  

[ Parent ]
That one's easy... (0.00 / 0)
Apart from the fact that it would probably have meant she could've kept claiming the popular vote lead if she had done 7% better in each state, yes the media hasn't been covering the race.  

Free the iPhone

[ Parent ]
I haven't read all the comments but the race is so over....... (0.00 / 0)
There are 2 less states that count for a unrealistic Clinton victory. She has no cash, no momentom, no realsic shot at pledged delegates, no speech to super delegates. She is toast! Now she has to realize this fact!

[ Parent ]
I haven't read all the comments but the race is so over....... (0.00 / 0)
There are 2 less states that count for a unrealistic Clinton victory. She has no cash, no momentom, no realsic shot at pledged delegates, no speech to super delegates. She is toast! Now she has to realize this fact!

[ Parent ]
Yeah, I also think a case can be made the other way. (4.00 / 5)
The real question in PA (and presumably NC and IN as well, though I didn't see it stated as often) in the minds of the DC press corps, the surrogates, many superdelegates, and at least one of the campaigns, was: how are the candidates playing with the various demographic constituencies, and does Obama, as a black guy, have any abolutely immovable weaknesses with any constituencies large and important enough to render him mostly unelectable in the fall?  Basically, the key question in PA was, just how badly is Obama going to do with senior citizens, and lower-middle-class whites.  Since he not only did quite badly with both groups, but also lost ground with upper-middle-class whites (Bucks and Montgomery Counties), then the campaign continued as if it were real.  Because it was, because if the weaknesses proved great enough, superdelegates might actually have torpedoed Obama in some way or other.

What happened tonight was that Obama came back strong in multiple demographics.  Holding Indiana within two points, given the horrible press coverage of the last month, means he really was able to hold his ground with old and poor white people.  I haven't seen the breakdowns for either state, but to post the numbers he did, he has to have done well across most of the demographics of note.  If he had won North Carolina by 4, meaning only on the basis of his strength with blacks and college grads, and without any real support from the rest of the state, then yeah, he'd have been in big trouble with the superdelegates, even though it would have been only a 4 or 5 delegate swing in the pledged delegate outcome of NC.

So even though the officially touted metrics of pledged delegates and popular vote would have been the same, the real metrics of who is able to carry how much of which demographic would have been wildly different in the case of a ten point swing to Clinton in each state.  And if those metrics had come back badly for Obama tonight, he would have been in a lot of hurt.  Probably still the nominee, but only probably.  Now he's assured.

That is kindof silly, but what essentially happened was a little experiment: give Obama a really bad April, and see if people still vote for him.  Turns out they do.  So now the superdelegates have faith that even in the event of a rough September or October, Obama can win.

I'm not endorsing all this, but it's not total nonsense either.  A candidate who can't win senior citizens is a pretty fucking serious liability, and so there were some serious questions being tested in these three contests.  Apparently, Obama passed.

[ Parent ]
asdf (4.00 / 1)
This is by far the most insightful thing I have read during the whole campaign.

Two things (4.00 / 2)
a) Assuming you include MI and FL, there was still the outside argument that she could pull off a popular vote win. There were a snowballs chance, but still a chance. As a non supporter of Obama and Clinton, it was one I thought she should fairly have. Now, there's not even that. it's time for her to go, and time for site's like Talkleft and Mydd to stop poisoning the well.

b) Narratives change. When you asked what changed- the narrative did. I don't really get this post on that level. Is it a surprise that narratives don't always match facts? This post feels like gloat. I hope I am wrong. Gloating isn't what's needed now. Yes, you were right before everyone else or you knew it before everyone. So what?

well (0.00 / 0)
I am certainly anti-narrative, and precisely because it doesn't match the facts.

It isn't really gloating, though. I think it is mainly whining.  

[ Parent ]
whatever it is, it isn't very fruitful (0.00 / 0)
a better post might be on , if you were to ask me, "how can we bring the party together now that the race is over?"

[ Parent ]
Yes and no... (4.00 / 3)
Yes, the media coverage has been continuing this for no reason (as Rachel Maddow basically pointed out tonight... why would Clinton get out now?)

BUT... the difference is, the media played up this primary as the LAST big primary of the election... her LAST chance to make a stand.  No, it didn't make much sense, but essentially, as you and others in the media have mentioned before, there are now more super delegates available than pledged delegates.  The race for pledged delegates is basically over with, and since this was the last one, when Obama did better than expected, that basically cinched it for the media.

So yeah, it's dumb... so agree with your overall analysis, but the fact that this was the last one and there are no more big nights(which couldn't be said pre-PA) means that the NC rout and slim loss in IN was big for Obama.

Well (4.00 / 6)
I can't speak for others but here was my personal thinking on the race, which has basically tracked the CW. Since Obama's string of victories in February he's been the clear and overwhelming frontrunner, with an insurmountable lead in the pledged delegate count. But Clinton always had a chance, even a decent chance. Her path to the nomination was two-fold. First, there was always the possibility that Obama, a very green and untested candidate, would self-destruct and implode at the hands of some scandal or gaffe. Second, there was the possibility that she could edge out Obama in the popular vote (perhaps including FL and MI) and then make the argument to the superdelegates that she could beat McCain and Obama would not. Both these paths were unlikely but clearly not impossible, and paths made significantly more plausible by Obama's troubles in March and April.

And I think that both of these paths have definitively closed for the Clinton campaign tonight. It's not just a matter of the math, though it's that too, it's a matter of psychology. Clinton and her supporters were holding out hope that the Wright scandal had fatally damaged Obama, and some polls were bearing out that hope. The results tonight prove that Obama is still going strong and foreclose the possibility of a meltdown over the remaining primaries. Obama's margin of victory in NC also cements his lead in the overall popular vote; even including FL and MI, Clinton cannot make up this margin. The superdelegates will never overturn Obama's lead in both the pledged delegate count and the overall popular vote. Again, this isn't to say that Obama hasn't always been the favorite to win the nomination since February. He was. But as long as Clinton had at least a chance, an argument, then I couldn't call the nomination for Obama--I could predict the race for Obama, sure, but I couldn't say that it was over.

Now I can. After tonight Clinton has no argument at all for how she might win the nomination. The race is over.

P.S. There's a parallel situation here to John McCain and the Republican primary. After his implosion last summer it was pretty implausible that he would go on to win the nomination. But McCain always had at least an argument, however unlikely, some scenario he could paint for a path to the nomination (i.e. wait for all the other candidates to blow up, win NH, and then hope for the best). Clinton has had a similar argument all the way up to now. Now she simply no longer has even that.  

Analysis correct, but would add... (4.00 / 4)
I think this analysis is very correct, but would add one additional thought.  I suspect the "Establishment" in the Democratic Party pushed Clinton to throw her "Kitchen Sink" campaign against Obama over the past six weeks or so, precisely because the wanted to see what Obama would do under heavy fire -- they wanted to see him tested.  In some ways it is like the famous Branch Rickey compact with Jackie Robertson -- see if he could go out there and play first base and take all the language, spikings, dust off pitches and cat calls the first Negro in Major League Baseball would get, and not return in kind, but just keep on playing baseball.  (1948).  They couldn't do it directly, they had to do it through Pastor Wright, but nevertheless it accomplished the same thing.  In reality a kind of test by torture. He survived, and kept his campaign focused -- and that is what they wanted to determine.  It is old style thinking, but I suspect was behind the thinking of many in the House and Senate -- and among the Party Establishment.  One might say uses of the test by trial and torture has moved from the ability to play first base to ability to be the Executive in a matter of 60 years, something that we should be pleased with as a metric, but sad, very sad about -- as an indication of how some people in the Establishment still think. But in fact Obama has never run against a Republican with deep credentials, and he really hasn't faced the right wing spin machine -- so in the end the process may be beneficial.  

I assume he has it locked down now -- thus we should turn our minds toward how to win it all next November, realizing that probably 20 -25% of our citizens are still so infected by Racism that they won't consider voting for him, no matter how well the campaign is organized and presented.  But most of those would never vote for a Democrat anyhow.  But I have a very good feeling about this, I think it is going to not only work, but produce a mandate next November.    

[ Parent ]
the Clinton scenario (4.00 / 1)
I know I felt the fear, and I'm sure you're at least aware of it.  

In fact, if Obama had won Texas or Pennsylvania this coverage would have come then.  Obama was perhaps helped by the bad polls last week and the perception that he might be damaged.

The Clinton wins scenario -- powered by the Wright scandal -- was that she proceeds to win all the remaining contests.  Obama collapses in the general election polls.  She gets MI and FL counted.  She wins the popular vote, and so can claim the delegate count is an artifact of an obscure system.  The super-delegates, many of whom owe the Clintons, now feel Obama cannot win and give the nomination to her.

The fact that he did well in NC and IN show that we are not in the Clinton wins track, and so he has done it.  Of course, we all knew that, but after all the Yankees lost in 2004 despite leading 3-0, a lead in the late innings, and the greatest reliever in history pitching for them.  Odd things can happen.

New Jersey politics at Blue Jersey.

The fundamental shape of the race... (4.00 / 2)
...hasn't changed since Wisconsin. You could probably go back to February 5th, really, when Clinton failed to get the knockout she needed.  Chuck Todd was very clear that night that ensuing string of primaries were very favorable to Obama, and it was hard to see what Clinton could do from there.  Of course, Obama won the next 12 contests, which gave him a clear road to the nomination.  

Two months of Jeremiah Wright, "bitterness", and shots of gin haven't changed a damn thing.  

You are right mathematically. (0.00 / 0)
But two months of Jeremiah Wright, "bitterness", and shots of gin did change one thing. Obama was tested and he passed. He changed the perception that he was green and untested. He showed everyone (most importantly the superdelegates and the pundits) that he can take the heat.

[ Parent ]
Now that Clinton has officiall won Indiana (0.00 / 0)
There is a bit of backpeddling from the media. They are somewhat reverting back to the "she can still win with superdelegates" narrative on MSNBC, but at the same time, Tim Russert is secure in his position that Obama is now the nominee, as is Chris Matthews. They seem pretty discombobulated, being that the expected result did not occur (remember the mixed narratives after Clinton's surprise victory in New Hampshire?). We shall see what happens, but I think that this might be Obama's chance, since Clinton has cancelled all media appearances tomorrow, and so is unable to spin in the most important period: the day afterwards. If he plays it right, he can probably get a bunch of Super Delegates to finish this thing off in time for Clinton to endorse him and get West Virginia to vote for the first Black Democratic nominee for President.

Former Edwards Supporter, Obama Supporter since January 30, 2008

Lie? (0.00 / 0)
I haven't noticed a lie.  The media has accurately reported that Obama has a small but insurrmountable lead in pledged delegates, that neither has enough to win without superdelegates.  How the supers should decide is the question: should they follow the pledged delegate count, the popular vote, or will there be more problems for Obama in the general than for Clinton.  I've heard this, stated exactly this way, on every major network, again and again.  In the reality based community (that is, not openleft), this is fact.

Clinton didn't advance on any of these arguments.  She's out of big contests.  Therefore it's time for her to find the exit.

I am as ardent a Clinton supporter as you can find.  This was her last, last, last stand, in my eyes.

I wonder, though: what exactly is wrong with so many Obama supporters?  What was so offensive about letting millions of people cast their vote?  Why did they want to cast a life-long Democrat as a Republican, a sociopath, or worse?  Why to they call people or the media "liars" just because they won't mouth your line?  Curious.

Any argument not based on delegate count (0.00 / 0)
or popular vote is anti democratic and unacceptable. I am one of those neutral people who really doesn't care who the nominee is. But make no mistake, a lot of people like me I imagine also will not accept a nominee who is picked by non democratic processes such as theorectical constructions of electability that a) aren't proven and b) are ultimately irrelevant to how democractic ideas work.

[ Parent ]
Sorry to break it to you (0.00 / 0)
but the entire system is undemocratic.

Caucuses are not a fair reflection of the popular will.

Excluding Florida and Michigan is anti-democratic.

The reason the superdelegates were established was precisely so they could override the popular vote.

The entire system stinks.  But to isolate one element as anti-democratic is not logically defensible.  

Obama has no democratic legitimacy.  However, I don't make the rules and the rules were never intended to operate democratically.  I do recognize that he won according to those rules, and is legitimzed as the nominee by those rules.

He won't get my vote, and the DNC won't see a dime of my money, but that has to do with the fact that he isn't qualified to be President, and will be a long term detriment to the party - an entirely different matter.

[ Parent ]
Why? (0.00 / 0)

Why do you believe that the party is hurt more by an Obama success (you don't say he can't win, but that he's not qualified) than by a loss in November?


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[ Parent ]
A myriad of reasons. (0.00 / 0)
My own personal assessment is that an Obama presidency will be a disaster.  I can go on at length about this, but essentially it boils down to the fact that Obama is a man of no principles other than personal ambition, who lacks a commitment to governing, but only to campaigning - a tiny bit like Bush.  In times like these, a failed Democratic Presidency will set the party back for a decade, just as the Carter Presidency did.  I think a McCain Presidency will also be a failure.  McCain will face a Democratic Congress and a dissatisfied Republican base.  I think Iraq is likely to crumble under either man's watch, but McCain will ultimately withdraw.  Other than the question of federal judges (which is significant), a failed Republican Presidency will be better for the country and the party than a failed Democratic presidency.

Although Obama himself is not engaged enough ideologically to really have a stake in this fray, the party is struggling once again with a division between Truman and Stevenson Democrats.  This goes on all the time.  The Stevenson wing will always deny it is the Stevenson wing, and claim that this time it will be different, but it never is.  The Stevenson wing loses because it doesn't respect the values of the Truman wing, which represents the traditional base of the party, people who are middle or lower middle class and don't care much about issues outside their immediate economic concern.  Some of those values include tendencies toward xenophobia, protectionism, jingoism, and other flaws, but it's the culture we live in.  Republican always figure out a way in the long run to pick a chunk of them off or make them stay home.  Obama's support and power base is in the Stevenson wing, and it has been historically a recipe for disaster, win or lose.

Democrats are notoriously bad at Presidential politics, and they are proving it once again.  Obama may win - probably will - but the country is in a no win situation, and the party will lose.

Just one opinion.  

As an aside, it does so happen that I live in a blue state, and my vote, or the votes of people like me, are likely to make no difference.

[ Parent ]
Thank you for responding (0.00 / 0)

I respect your opinion.

I am not registered with any political party, so I chose my candidates on basis of principle. Iowa was a great day in my view - it was the day my two favorite candidates, then considered longshots, won. Of those two - Obama is the only one still standing.

I believe him to be a man of principle and honor. I do believe he'll have to sell it a bit better to folks outside the African-American community, but folks IN the African-American community felt his principled stand when he didn't through Rev. Wright under the bus, and hurt with him when Rev. Wright couldn't stand on principle and instead had to steal the limelight. We may not have liked him having, after all, to repudiate Wright, but we certainly weren't mad at him for it.

Well - that's just one person's opinion, as reflected through one tiny example. YMMV, as clearly it does! :)

But in any event - I hope that something changes your opinion before November. :)


Visit the Obama Project


[ Parent ]
well, we've got to remember (4.00 / 1)
that in the Democratic party nominating process, there is nothing we can identify as purely democratic. All we have are several mechanisms that are varying shades of NON-Democratic: party primaries that nevertheless must rely on state governments, and are therefore vulnerable to bad-faith statehouse politics; desperately obsolete caucus procedures that effectively disenfranchise millions of would-be voters; and a rigid devotion to proportional representation (which I feel needs to be reformed, not eliminated) that almost makes a mockery of the principle of one person, one vote.

On top of that, the super delegates exist almost entirely for one reason: to OVERTURN the results produced by that "democratic" crazy quilt, IF the party "bosses" determine that the likely nominee will become the next McGovern in November. However odious that is, and it certainly is, the party willfully and explicitly created that egregiously UNdemocratic safety valve. So...once you get to the point of mounting an argument to the supers, the democratic nature of the argument is, sadly, irrelevant. The decision is oligarchical, by definition.

[ Parent ]
the public will percieve of it as you denying the will of the people (0.00 / 0)
it's delusional to believe otherwise. it's really that simple.  

[ Parent ]
What is going on? (0.00 / 0)
Why is everyone so wrong about North Carolina's pledged delegate count?

Right now, it looks pretty much like 66-49.  DCW is hopelessly behind, Green Papers are hopelessly behind.  If you go here:

and then work through each of the CDs and their splits, it's 66-49.  I had been updating my diary at Kos constantly for nearly 6 hours and just pulled my head up and noticed how off people are.  There are 4 CDs that are very close to the line, but the two narrowly in Obama's favor are pulling away about 3 updates in a row each, and the two that are narrowly in Clinton's favor haven't changed.

66-49.  What is going on with the media reports?

Thanks. (0.00 / 0)
Hadn't seen that. Here's the link to his calculations.

[ Parent ]
I agree, but (0.00 / 0)
the MSM did have a horse (the campaign) to ride and they rode it for all it was worth.  Kind of like a basketball game where one team has a 20-30 point lead with about 15 minutes to play.  The announcers generally don't say, 'well folks no sense watching this anymore'.  They tell you what the team has to do to get back in the game and hope that it will get interesting.  At some point, it becomes blatantly clear that the game is over.  I agree that this game ended after Wisconsin, but had she actually gotten the wins she needed, it would have been a BIG story. Kind of like a team coming back from a 25 point deficit with 5 minutes to play, doesn't happen very often but it's exciting when it does.    

It's a silly question... (4.00 / 5)
What changed is the number of available delegates.  So long as there was one last BIG night to point to that could create the appearance of a trend away from Obama, Hillary's narrative could stand.  Her narrative was - we got off to poor start because of poor campaign management (lots of fired people).  Also, people are really excited about this Barack guy, and he's really sexy and dynamic! BUT - buyers remorse is setting in, the veneer is fading, and Obama's glitz has worn off.  Even if I come in second place - it's clear for all to see that he's fading - and will be gone by November.  

That was the narrative - and all it needed to work was for the tide to actually shift and STAY shifted.  Tonight clearly demonstrated that there has been no tidal shift. Obama's campaign is doing what it's always been doing. Hillary's campaign is doing what it's always been doing, and between the two - Hillary's campaign is the inferior one on several counts:

1. Organization
2. Finances
3. Saleability

Hillary's where she is now because her campaign ran almost entirely on the strength of the candidate, with very little organizational strength behind it.  I'll concede too a good advertising campaign that let her control the pacing of the advertising - Obama needs a better ad agency.  But scratch the surface of the Obama campaign and what you lose in glitz, you make up in organization.  Scratch the surface of the Clinton campaign and what you lose in high-powered networks, you never make up.

What changed? Not the numbers - but the story that held the numbers together. Until today there were two competing stories, and the possibility that one or the other could win.  Today, one of those stories lost credibility.


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Additionally, her poor showing will dry up her finances (0.00 / 0)
A better showing would have likely drawn a renewed fundraising bonanza, but that seems unlikely now.

[ Parent ]
Why? Because of superdelegates, this campaign was about momentum (0.00 / 0)
No one was going to clinch the nomination based on pledged delegates alone, so Hillary needed to convince heretofore undeclared superdelegates to break decisively for her by claiming that she had the momentum to win in November.

Specifically, Hillary's claim that she had the momentum ever since winning the Potomac Primaries by winning big in Texas and Ohio, then winning by "10" points in Pennsylvania, then the whole Wright issue, then the "bold" play on the gas tax, and tonight put a stop to that. Keeping North Carolina close and winning Indiana by 5+ points would have made the argument to the superdelegates more plausible, that she is the most electable candidate.  Instead the opposite happened, Obama kept Indiana close and decisively won North Carolina, after what were arguably were his two worst weeks of the campaign.

Shameless self-promotion (4.00 / 1)
Here was my prediction from a thread a couple days ago:

As is my wont (0.00 / 0)
I'm going optimistic:
Obama 55.7%-44.3%; Obama 63-52 delegate count

Prediction: Clinton 51.7%--48.3%; 36-36

Not bad, huh ;-)

You were too pessimistic (so was I) (0.00 / 0)
Obama carried NC by almost 15, not 11.4.

Clinton carried IN by 1.4 not 3.4.

Maybe next time you won't be such a wet blanket.

[ Parent ]
Don't be so intentionally dense (0.00 / 0)
The reason this mattered was because Obama might have collapsed about the whole ridiculous Wright affair.  That was really Hillary's last hope.  If Hillary's ridiculous gas tax holiday HAD resonated with the voters and left Barack looking like an elitist prig in their minds (especially after the Wright blowup), then maybe it's still a race.

The fact that none of that happened is what gives this its significance.

sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.

But if that were really the plan... (0.00 / 0)
If that were truly her reasoning for staying in the race, then she could have suspended or just cut down on her campaigning ala Huckabee.  If some horrendous scandal struck Obama and rendered him powerless for November all the delegates would have dropped him at the convention.  As I seem to remember, even pledged delegates don't by any law have to vote for the candidate they are selected to vote for, especially if said candidate has become toxic (wasn't Clinton even hinting that earlier pledged delegates should drop Obama for her?).

She is either staying in the race because she thinks she has enough favors/blackmail to call in or offer to superdelegates to overcome her pledged delegate deficit or she is poisoning the well in hopes of running in 2012.  I am not sure how she thinks she can still win in November if she takes the nomination by super-coup, so I think she is laying the groundwork in hopes of a McCain victory.

[ Parent ]
Nice shout out to Chuck Todd (0.00 / 0)
I don't see why we can't fire all of the political news media and replace them with Chuck Todd. He's not perfect but he's always got the best analysis, and he's been that way since what, 1990 or so? Him and Charlie Cook can basically write all the stories from now on as far as I'm concerned because everyone else is just a waste of time.


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