Writing On the Wall With Pencil

I understand there are still a lot of delegates left on the table for the Democratic nomination, and that Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania are all leaning to Hillary Clinton right now, but I don’t see how Obama isn’t going to win this nomination at this point.  He’s drawing crowds of 15,000 everywhere he goes, and she’s drawing 4,000.  He’s making over a million dollars a day, mostly from small donors, while she’s still trying to pay herself back for the $5 million loan.  Obama’s winning virtually every demographic, all across the country, including independents when those voters are given a choice of voting GOP or Dem.  Hillary’s replacing key campaign staff, while Obama has the luxury of refusing her overtures for additional debates.

Is it over?  No, not yet.  An Edwards endorsement (which is starting to look suspiciously like a quid pro quo) could sway things.  And if she does carry big wins in TX, PA and OH, that probably puts us on the path to fireworks at the convention.  But could it be any clearer that the masses have spoken, and they have spoken loudly for Obama?

Sure, Obama could blow up.  He could say a bunch of stupid things, or be revealed to have crooked business dealings, or have had dangerous liaisons with people not named Michelle Obama.  But doesn’t it seem like we’re getting to the point where it’s his race to lose?

Certainly I’ll support her if Obama isn’t the nominee.  Support her with time and money, no question.  But if Hillary wins the nomination, there are going to be a lot of unhappy people leaving the Dem tent, some of whom were just starting to get comfortable inside it for the first time in their voting lives.  And I know an awful lot of people, like me, would wonder what might have been.

But I don’t think that’s going to happen.  New Hampshire was a long time ago.

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10 Responses to Writing On the Wall With Pencil

  1. kelly says:

    I’ve been thinking the nomination is starting to look inevitable as well, but only with the reverse conclusion. While I’m excited by Obama’s recent surge, I was disappointed by super Tuesday and the California vote. Currently I think the delegate vote is nearly even with HRC a slight lead. Meaning, even with Obama’s surging popularity maybe he eeks out 10-15% better than HRC and the super-delegates are where this will be decided. On that front, HRC and the Clinton era democratic backing seems like the real asset. That process seems to scream ‘establishment’. The real counterweight being super-delegates not wanting to vote ‘against the people’; but I just got to think HRC can carry 2/3’s the supers……. but maybe I’m putting to much weight behind her ‘experience’ which I’ve always interpreted as keen negotiation and back room dealings. Am I a cynic?

    I suppose if Obama makes it happen with the super-delegates his early credentials for ‘change’ will be demonstrably persuasive. I of course am a big Obama fan, so I am psyched he can pull it off, just don’t know how this nomination process is supposed to work. Has it ever been decided this late in the game in the last 100 years?

  2. kelly says:

    sorry was on a plane all day, should have read the news before pipeline….. but had to get an early fix.

  3. Jim says:

    I wonder about that Edwards deal. He’s a terrible choice for a VP candidate–he already failed at it once, he doesn’t balance the ticket in any real way, etc.

    All Obama has to do is squeak by in either Ohio or Texas, and it’s over. Unless, of course, Hillary gets some sort of weird Wisconsin upset. The momentum, I think, is irreversible.

  4. notchris says:

    Actually, it appears that Hillary has to have blow-outs in TX and OH in order to stay competitive.

    I hope Obama reaches out to Hillary and promises her a place on the SCOTUS if she goes quietly.

    I think at this point an Edwards endorsement of Hillary looks craven and too late.

  5. Q says:

    I hope Edwards isn’t the VP choice. I think that choice is very important in Obama’s case. Someone like Jim Webb from Virginia would be perfect in my opinion. Former Secretary of the Navy with a little national spotlight. It would help with the perceive naivety of Obama on foreign affairs. Nice author too. we’d probably get a novel out of his time in the whitehouse.

  6. pipelineblog says:

    To be clear, I don’t think the Edwards QPQ is about VP…I think it’s about being the AG. But who really knows? I agree that he’s lost much of his cache, though I never thought he had all that much cache in the first place. But maybe I’m wrong, and he’s really doing what his people say he’s doing, which is figuring out which candidate is really going to stick up for the working poor in this country.

    That was a joke, BTW.

    I agree that Webb could be a good VP choice for Obama, but I also like Bill Richardson strategic reasons relating to Hispanics and his energy background. There are some who say that his reign at DOE is tainted by the lack of security at some of the nuclear plants, but I don’t buy that. Name a DOE who did secure our nuclear plants. Mark Warner or Thomas Kaine wouldn’t be bad choices, either.

  7. pipelineblog says:

    Two articles of note, both buried within recent TPM posts.

    The first is regarding the deep state of fear within the HRC campaign, and gives a concise explanation of the way the Super Delegate process (read: actual Dem nomination process) works. A highly recommended read if you want a brief primer on how this thing is going to be decided.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2004179017_apondeadlineclinton12.html

    The second piece picks up on the themes in the article above, and discusses how HRC’s campaign won’t hesitate to pursue a nomination via the Super Delegate route, even if she were to lose the popular vote count to Obama. Which is all fine and good; that’s how the process works. But as I stated in the original post, and as we saw in 2000, when a candidate advances despite having fewer votes than their opponent, strange and destructive dynamics can take hold. How could the Dems lose a “sure thing” election, and/or perpetuate the toxic political climate of the last 10 years? One scenario is starting to take definite shape in my mind, and this piece speaks to it:

    http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2008/02/clinton_counts.html

  8. Steve C says:

    I agree that Edwards would be an obvious choice for AG; he would never, never, never go for VP again–he’s on record about that. He could really restore some dignity to the DOJ. I’m not as sure about Richardson wanting to be VP, but it is an intriguing idea. I have a friend who used to be a DC journalist and has LOTS of contacts and he is convinced that Richardson’s new beard is an attempt to look more Latino, which begs the question of Why? He’s already been UN ambassador and Gov. What else is left? Perhaps VP, but my friend thinks the better choice is Secretary of State. Webb as VP is a great choice on my part.

  9. pipelineblog says:

    I’m also growing a beard to make me look more Hispanic.

  10. david says:

    I just found out Wilco is playing a FREE concert at Case Western (I’ll be there) on Friday in support of Obama. If Obama adds a platform of free Wilco concerts, that could certainly influence my vote…

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