Jay Reding.com

Lo, How The Mighty Have Fallen

I do have to admit a certain amount—okay, a great amoumt—of schadenfreude over the results of last night’s Son of Super Tuesday primaries. Hillary Clinton managed to come back and beat Barack Obama in two major contests, which still puts Obama in the lead, but only narrowly. Effectively, this race is tied, and if Hillary wins the key state of Pennsylvania in a few weeks, it will remain tied right through to the convention.

At the same time, that schadenfreude only goes so far. For one, I still maintain that Hillary Clinton is the bigger threat to McCain than Obama is. If Obama gets the nomination, it will produce a split in the Democratic Party with some rather far-reaching consequences. (More on that subject later…) If Hillary wins, those people who say that they won’t vote for her probably will. Granted, Hillary Clinton would be preferable to Obama, but only in the sense that being torn apart by wild dogs is preferable to being gnawed to death by rabid badgers.

It would also be exceedingly nice to purge this country of Clintonism. The “campaign war room,” the ravenous and reflexive partisanship, the self-adulation of the Clinton tribe have all diminished American politics. Draining that festering boil would be a welcome relief for the nation. However, to replace it with an Obama cult of personality would hardly be much better.

I doubt there will be a resolution of this race until at least Pennsylvania, and I’m not sure that even that will end it. Neither candidate has enough delegates to win, and while Hillary is behind, she’s not far enough behind to make it logical for her to drop out any time soon.

Meanwhile, John McCain can consolidate his base and prepare for the general election. His biggest problem will be figuring out who he should be running against.

3 responses to “Lo, How The Mighty Have Fallen”

  1. Mark says:

    “Effectively, this race is tied, and if Hillary wins the key state of Pennsylvania in a few weeks, it will remain tied right through to the convention.”

    Hard to imagine she wouldn’t. It’s almost a carbon copy of Ohio demographically. Blue collar, elderly, and a black population only in the 10% range. On top of that, it’s a Democrats-only primary. No independents.

    “For one, I still maintain that Hillary Clinton is the bigger threat to McCain than Obama is.”

    Then you’re either disingenuous or insane. I never bought into the Obama hype, but the fact that so many do in itself assures that he’s a bigger threat that the independent-despised Hillary.

    “If Obama gets the nomination, it will produce a split in the Democratic Party with some rather far-reaching consequences.”

    It certainly would…but the party’s “split” on Obama’s behalf would at least energize a generation of American voters who will still be alive for the next election. What percent of Hillary’s geriatric voters will be either dead or in a nursing home by the time November comes along? Any chance the Dems had of uniting behind Hillary if she was the nominee ended when everybody under the age of 40 started voting for Obama. Those voters are not gonna support Hillary. Period.

    “If Hillary wins, those people who say that they won’t vote for her probably will.”

    If you seriously believe that these doe-eyed college students filling up arenas to hear Obama speak will race to polls to reward Hillary Clinton for having stolen their “hope”, then I’m glad it’s the Republican Party you’re offering your sage advice to.

    “I doubt there will be a resolution of this race until at least Pennsylvania, and I’m not sure that even that will end it.”

    Even if Hillary beats Obama by 2-1 in PA, he’ll still lead by more than 100 delegates (assuming he wins as big as expected in WY and MS between now and then). So obviously, it won’t be over if Hillary brings out every last one of John Murtha’s gray-haired neighbors.

    “Meanwhile, John McCain can consolidate his base and prepare for the general election.”

    It’s a perfect situation for McCain. If McCain’s rivals are embroiled in a monthslong knife fight, he gets to hide in the bushes and allow voters less time to recognize the gaping divide between his agenda for America and the court of public opinion.

    “His biggest problem will be figuring out who he should be running against.”

    Actually, his biggest problem is this. http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/slideshow/photo//080305/480/d50278a624a64c248d9885c6cb868ddf/

  2. Jay Reding says:

    Let me put it this way: if I were going to base my campaign on young voters or older voters, I’d go for older voters in a heartbeat.

    I do love all the Obama hype—the Democrats just can’t see the trap they’re laying for themselves and what the consequences will be.

    Actually, his biggest problem is this.

    Please. Bush isn’t on the ballot, and trying to demonize a man who isn’t on the ticket won’t do a thing to win this election. The American people are sick of childish partisanship, and if that’s what the Democrats are offering again, they’ll lose.

  3. Mark says:

    “Let me put it this way: if I were going to base my campaign on young voters or older voters, I’d go for older voters in a heartbeat.”

    If your only goal is victory in 2008, then I’d agree. But neither party can afford to cater a message exclusively to geriatrics, which both McCain and Hillary have every intention of doing. The young adults of the 1980’s, now 40-somethings, are the most reliable Republican voters today due to their association with Ronald Reagan. Today’s young adults are much more associated with the Democratic Party than any other “youth vote” generation in recent history, and they are deeply engaged. With the Republicans swimming fiercely against that tide by nominating the oldest curmudgeon in the race, they are really backing themselves into a demographic corner beyond 2008. And if the Dems allow Hillary to steal the “hope” of their youth vote base and reject Obama, they’ll disenfranchise that entire generation for decades to come.

    “I do love all the Obama hype—the Democrats just can’t see the trap they’re laying for themselves and what the consequences will be.”

    Democrats thought it was just as hilarious back in 1976 and 1980 when that dimwitted and radical former California Governor was making a bunch of pretty speeches directed towards younger voters thirsting for change. Be careful what you wish for.

    “Please. Bush isn’t on the ballot, and trying to demonize a man who isn’t on the ticket won’t do a thing to win this election.”

    This from the guy who advocated from the peanut gallery that the RNC should run against Markos Moulitsas back in 2006? Yet the two-term incumbent President with approval ratings below 30% will be off-limits from public scrutiny in election 2008 when McCain is vowing to give America, for all intents and purposes, the third term of Bush? You guys….