Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Don't Call it a Comeback

Well it's official, Hillary pulled it off. But there was nothing dramatic or surprising about it. The polls had shown her with a lead in Ohio, they were tied in Texas, and looking at the demographics in the Lone Star state I didn't see Obama pulling it off. If anything was a bit shocking it was that Hil beat the spread in Ohio, taking the state by a ten point margin. My guess in regards to this? Obama's NAFTA scandal really hurt him, as that Ohio(ians?) really take that issue seriously, and were hurt by his alleged duplicity. That's not to say that they bought into Hillary's rhetoric (after all Bill Clinton was a big proponent of NAFTA) but Obama's integrity is one of the axis of his entire campaign. If he looks corrupt or two-faced it is a huge blow to that messianic image.
Still, if you're an Obama supporter you have plenty to feel happy about. Hillary may have taken the popular vote in the primaries last night, but she made no significant gains in terms of delegates and Obama still maintains his overall lead. Furthermore, even though Camp Hillary will undoubtedly say she's got momentum, her wins really weren't that dominating with the exception of Ohio, and even that wasn't a rout. To get the delegate lead at this point she still needs to take the remaining states in approximately three-fourths margins and nothing so far indicates that she'll be able to achieve that goal.

Still though, I've got a ominous buzzing in my gut about this race. Not because I'm worried that Obama will lose (although obviously I have those concerns) but because the longer this race continues the stronger McCain can become. Yes, the man continues to shoot himself in the foot, and his victory speech last night was a profile in being unpolitical. He repeated his message of you can't stop the global economy (you know people love that, especially in Ohio), as well as his dedication to remain in Iraq, but Hillary still polls badly against him, and has her high negative issue (which ain't going down unless she changes her name to Hillary Rodam). But my real concern is that should this thing go on till the end, Obama is going to be the only one whose armor is going to get tarnished. Like it or not, people have the image of Obama being this Jesus figure, immune to the particular malaise of politics like, well, being political. When issues like the NAFTA thing come up they really hurt Obama, and Hillary, who is a fighter, will dig up whatever she can to bring him down. While that probably won't be enough to get her the nomination, it will make Obama unsavory to what will be his bread and butter in the general election--moderate Independents and Republicans. Of course I could delude myself and buy into that "Obama is above reproach" junk, but he's a Senator--from Illinois. You don't get to that point without skinning a few hands, and even if it's not as bad as McCain and the Keating 5, people, for better or worse, hold Obama to a higher standard, and he's had less time to have his feet pulled through the coals.

Oh, Huckabee bowed out the race. Then ascended into heaven. And what happened to Ron Paul? My, my, my how fickle we are.

No comments:

LabPixies TV