Monday, March 10, 2008

Clinton's a Loser

Two posts to keep in mind, one from conservative turned Obama supporter Andrew Sullivan, the other (with more detail) from liberal blogger (and Obama supporter) Daily Kos.

Sullivan first:

"As The Smoke Clears

09 Mar 2008 09:34 pm

Reading the email in-tray and absorbing the latest news from Wyoming and looking at the delegate totals and the popular vote, it seems clearer to me that we Obama supporters for the Democratic nomination need to chill a little. Under the rules everyone agreed to in advance, he's winning the nomination. RCP has his delegates at 1588 to Clinton's 1465. Counting only pledged delegates, his lead is even bigger. No one disputes this. Whatever the psychological games the Clintons are playing - largely a threat to sabotage the Obama1timsloanafpgetty winner if they don't get their way - this is the core reality. Even the Clintons' big recent "wins" - Texas and Ohio - came after the much bigger Clinton leads of a few weeks previously were cut in half or to as little as 3 percent as the public engaged and assessed the two candidates. In the end, Obama won Texas in the delegate count - which is what this primary election depends on. And he gained support as the campaign proceeded, barring a last minute spasm of doubt and fear sown by the Clinton camp in Ohio. Since March 4, he has won more super-delegates than she has. It now seems that he won Texas as well, if you go by delegates. And what else are we supposed to go by?

I see no clear reason why the Michigan and Florida primaries should be re-done. Why should a party switch the rules halfway through a game? If Clinton were ahead by the amount Obama is, no one would give the argument for a re-do any credence. Just because the Clintons do not believe the rules ever apply to them, we don't have to acquiesce to their self-serving arguments.

Obama has essentially won this thing already. He should use the next few weeks to demonstrate what a tough campaigner he can be; to broaden his appeal as he has done in every major primary as the campaign has gone on. The good news about the kitchen sink is that you can only throw it once. He just won Wyoming after being battered by a barrage of negativism and refusing to throw a much larger kitchen sink back. He should now focus on Mississippi. And on reality.

The Clintons just got into our heads. We need to get them out. Keep going; keep focused; remind people why only Obama can provide change in a way the Clintons never have and never will."

Then Kos:

"Obama's "bad" week
by kos
Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:03:28 AM PDT

So CW is that last week was the "week from hell" for Obama, and given that he could've closed this thing out and didn't, we can stipulate that it could've been better.

But let's see just how horrible the week was:

Per Obama's count (if Clinton had a similar count, I'll happily link to it), Obama started last week with 1,203 delegates, Clinton with 1,043. Since then:

Obama Clinton
OH 66 75
RI 8 13
VT 9 6
TX 99 94
WY 7 5

Total 189 193

So that's a four-delegate gain for Clinton.

But that wasn't all. Obama also picked up three more super delegates last Tuesday -- Texas Democratic Party Vice Chair Roy Laverne Brooks, DNC member Mary Long of Georgia and South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Carol Fowler.

That pegs things at 192-193 for the week.

And then on Saturday, Obama provided material help in Bill Foster's dramatic upset victory in IL-14, filming an ad and sending hundreds of volunteers into the district. The Republicans had John McCain campaign for the Republican candidate, yet still lost proving that Obama 1) is more focused on party building and down-ballot races than the Clinton campaign (where was she?), 2) that he could out-battle McCain in the first proxy battle of the season, and 3) that he's got some serious coattails.

Oh, and Bill Foster is now a super delegate and repaid Obama's largesse by promising him his vote.

So yes, Obama has some serious message issues to deal with and a shaken campaign to right. But where it matters -- in the delegate race -- Obama ended his week from hell TIED with Clinton.

Furthermore, there's an "unpledged" Wyoming delegate still to be decided. He or she will be selected at Wyoming's state convention, and is selected by the elected delegates from Saturday's caucus. In other words, it's going to be another Obama delegate. So unofficially, Obama actually won the delegate race last week.

As Clinton gears up her efforts toward coup by super delegate, threatening civil war within the party, it bears nothing that in her best week of the campaign since her New Hampshire victory, she actually lost ground in the race."

In other words, Clinton is losing, and the only way she can win is by initiating scorched earth shenanigans, which in the end is a lose-lose proposition.

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