Mar 5, 2008

Reading the Political Tea Leaves and Seeing Good News!

Just a few things to clarify following the results from Texas, Ohio, R. Island, and Vermont.

  • The Democratic contest goes on and this is good for the eventual nominee. It gives him/her the opportunity to set the agenda on the issues and get more public exposure. They learn to fight tough (something they'll need against the Repubs in the Fall), and they get more time to be vetted of issues now that by the time the general election comes around "it's old news."

  • The dreaded phone call in the middle of the night could be coming from Bill Clinton calling. Yeap, definitely you need the right person on the other end of the phone line. I suppose part of the advertised experience was hanging around the phone to ring as the First Lady.

  • Reminder to Sen. Clinton: A Democrat won those big & important states you're talking about. Your supporters, (and Democrats of all stripes for that matter), will support the eventual Democratic nominee. You'll endorse him and campaign with/for him, right? Democrats have come out in greater numbers than the Republicans even in the so-called red states. That's good news, no? And, it's Obama who brings greater numbers of newcomers & crossovers. In Texas for example, the Democratic primary voters yesterday exceeded John Kerry's total vote in that state in 2004!

  • Both Obama and Clinton beat McCain in national polls. Obama does better though. This lead can be solidified unless the Dems make it ugly and manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

  • The spilled blood will fade by November. I'm counting on the short memory span and the lack of serious attention by most Americans right now, so unless someone is sent to the hospital, all the bruises will be healed by Nov. 4th.
Guess who's arguing for a third Bush term?

I and others have been crunching the numbers and it seems that Sen. Clinton will not be able to catch up to Sen. Obama's delegate count, even if Michigan and Florida get a re-do. This is because, unlike the Repubs (winner-take-all system), the Dems have a more proportional system, so Clinton will have to be scorring 70% or better in the remaining contests to rise to the top. Obama will win several remaining states and he only needs to keep it close in the ones he'll lose.

Now, the super-delegates will play an important role, but I can hardly see them voting as a block to overturn the elected delegates' verdict. The worst-case scenario would be a repeat of the 1980 Dem convention and the ugly fight between Carter & Kennedy. Unfortunately, both contenders won't give up their fight if they believe they're a few delegates short of winning the nomination. But, I don't see this happening.

Finally, I think it's the Repubs that have the bigger problem. They're not unified and they're not excited about their nominee and their prospects in the general. The vast majority of the Dems (especially outside the small groups of the party activists) like both remaining candidates, and will coalesce behind the nominee. After all, there's a much bigger price out there and they're hungry for it!