First off, last night was an amazing display of democracy. The closest thing we’ve ever had to a national primary. Very impressive stuff.
But who won? Most are saying it’s a tie, even though Obama maywon more delegates and states (by popular vote). And I think that’s a fair assessment.
Still, today Hillary’s camp is furiously spinning the results in ways that stretch credibility. Sure, Obama’s camp is spinning too, but when Clinton campaign manager Mark Penn says that Obama is now the “establishment candidate” you just have to call BS on it.
Her people are also claiming that they stopped Obama’s momentum, and while that’s an easier pill to swallow, Obama IS NOT responsible for crappy polls showing him up 14 points in California (ahem…Zogby!). He made up a ton of ground after South Carolina, and just because he had support from establishment Democrats doesn’t make him one.
And it’s true that Hillary brought home the big states, and that helped her make sure Obama wasn’t the clear winner. However, Obama dominated in a lot of red states, winning 3-1 in many of these locales. That’s the reason he caught up with Hillary’s tally in the big, blue contests. What should be heartening in that news for every Dem is that his organizational structure is becoming more and more impressive on a nationwide level. Also, as the campaign points out, Obama now most likely leads the pledged delegate count with 908 to Hillary’s 884. That number is extremely important because I believe that pledged delegates will indeed be what decides the nomination. I can’t imagine, in this day and age, the superdelegates saying, “Well America, we heard you, but we’re going to support somebody else.” People would go nuts, especially with a “movement” candidate like Obama.
In fact, Obama is already anticipating this…
“If this contest comes down to super-delegates, I think we’re going to be able to say that we have more pledged delegates â€” meaning that the Democratic voters have spoken,” Obama said. “And I think that those SD’s who are elected officials, party insiders, would have to think long and hard about how they approach the nomination when the people they claim to represent have said, ‘Obama’s our guy.'”
In short, do not subvert democracy super delegates or he will make you look like fools.
Also, at the end of the night, if the spin is anything I agree with John Cole…
Obama won more states, won more delegates, improved his numbers with key groups, widened his lead among minority voters, and over-all, outperformed Hillary. Period. The fact that the Clinton established machine has not been able to pull ahead should be a real clear sign of how much trouble they are in right now. This race was Hillaryâ€™s to lose, and last night she may have started doing just that. You will hear the Clinton camp talking repeatedly about winning the big prize- California. Winning California is irrelevant, as a Democrat is going to win Cali in the general regardless who it is.
And to that point of this being a sign that Hillary is starting to lose, I wouldn’t be so quick to jump on that horse but the Clinton’s are already spinning losses in primaries in the upcoming week in hopes that the media will dismiss these contests and focus on the later dates of Texas and Ohio.
My gut tells me that I don’t think the media is going to buy the Clinton’s spin. Not just because it sounds goofy, but the Obama campaign has been very quick to provide them with credible, fact-based points as to why the Clinton’s talking points can’t be trusted. I mean, establishment candidate? Come on…
I guess we’ll see how it all shakes out in the coming days.