Wednesday, February 6, 2008



How could someone, especially a Democrat, who has carried New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and California not have the nomination sewn up? Regardless of the arcane rules for selecting delegates to the Democratic national convention that has made this race close, one has to concede that Hillary Clinton should have the nomination put away. This should be especially self-evident when one considers that she ought to handily carry the largest state remaining on the primary calendar, Texas, by virtue of her strength among Hispanic voters. It should all be over, but it isn’t. This is testimony to the star power of Barack Obama, a very biased (in favor of Obama, obviously) national media, and the American people’s, even the Democratic electorate’s, profound and eminently understandable unease with Hillary Clinton and her husband.

I still think Hillary Clinton will be the nominee, but, as something of a political junkie, I am delighted that the race will continue. This is exciting.

Some “experts” have argued that, since the Republicans have already decided on their nominee (and they have…don’t be so naïve or blindly hopeful to think that John McCain will not be the GOP standard-bearer, unless he is taken away in a straitjacket, which is not an entirely incredible possibility) and can now concentrate on the general election, the Democrats are at a distinct disadvantage. Don’t believe it. The Republican race is over and thus worthy of no attention. The Democrats will still be attracting all the attention, perhaps, but not likely, all the way to the convention. John McCain, on the other hand, were it not for the “Bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran” commercials the Democrats will have been running 24/7, will have been forgotten, or remembered only as the drooling old guy who got the nomination by winning primaries in a bunch of states that the GOP never had a hope of carrying anyway.

The best, or at least the most recent, analogy I can draw is to Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani’s strategy (which, incidentally, I thought would work or at least I liked because I like unconventional thinkers and unconventional approaches) was to ignore the early primaries and focus first on Florida and then on the Super Tuesday states. It failed…miserably. Why? Because the American people, probably due to the dessicatory impact television has had on their brains, have an extremely short attention span. Giuliani was out of sight only for a few weeks, but it resulted in his plummeting from front-runner to laughingstock. A similar fate awaits the GOP, and would even if they were running a viable candidate, simply because the Democratic race remains relevant. Well, that, and the economy, the war, the budget, gas prices, the financial markets…

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