Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Primary Wrap-Up

Before it hits the pages of, you can check it out here. Long story short--it's not a good day to be Hillary.

About two months ago it seemed apparent that Sen. Hillary Clinton’s run for the Democratic nomination was finished. Sen. Barack Obama led in elected delegates, races won, and popular vote. But, as the pundits called it, she moved the goal post further and further back. By the time the Pennsylvania primary rolled around the goal post was in the parking lot.

So last night, as Obama took a decisive victory in North Carolina and Clinton squeaked by in Indiana, her refusal to quit and face reality has a certain Bush-like quality of schizophrenia. The Daily News’ front page today has the headline ‘Hil Needs A Miracle’ and the NY Post proclaims ‘Toast!’ Even the entire MSNBC crew and Matt Drudge says it’s over, but if her speech last night was any clue to her future plans, Clinton remains committed to seeing this thing out to what will undoubtedly be the bitter end, pleading with her supporters to send her more money to top off her second self-loan of 6.4 million dollars.

Regardless, last night seemed to be the final nail in the coffin. With six more primaries to go, all of which are much smaller than North Carolina (I believe Puerto Rico is the largest in the rest of the season, with around 50 delegates to be decided), Clinton has zero shot of over taking Obama in elected delegates and popular vote under the Democratic rules of delegates by proportion. Not only that but it seems that now Super delegates are rallying to Obama who, according to George Stephanopoulos, are ready to come over ‘three, four, five at a time’.

Really though the story of last night, and ultimately, this Democratic nominating season is that, as Andrew Sullivan pointed out, the end of the Clintons came at the hands of black voters. While Hillary just narrowly picked up Indiana, Obama’s huge victory in NC is what shut the door for his opponent and that couldn’t have been possible save for the commanding turn out of black voters there. By the numbers blacks routed Clinton, giving Obama 91 percent of their vote compared to 6 percent for Clinton. Add that to the fact that whites voted by a much smaller margin for Clinton—59 to 36—and what you get is blacks, in a rare, rare event actually deciding on the Democratic nominee for President and maybe the President of the United States. Obviously, Obama historically had black support, but I think that Hillary’s complete lack of respect for blacks as shown in her interview with O’Reilly really brought out the black vote for Obama and on this end she tactically shot herself in the foot. Among all of the mistakes that a person makes, it’s always the last one that hurts the most and this time she’s going to look back and realize that when she gave away the black vote to Obama in NC, when she completely ignored that part of the Democratic constituency, she set herself up to lose. It’s a poetic end to what has been a miserably racially polarizing race. Hopefully we’ll get something of more substance in the general election…but then again, don’t bet on it.

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