Sunday, February 10, 2008

Good Weekend For Obama

Yesterday he took Washington, Louisiana, and Nebraska. Today Obama took Maine. And he has taken them all by wide margins. Today Clinton changed her campaign manager. The team is spinning it as though it didn't represent an acknowledgement of the trouble Clinton is finding herself in, but after losing her substantial lead there is no other way to read it. Clinton is also trying to reposition herself as the underdog and Obama as the establishment man. Rather bizarre. I know that the public's memory is supposed to be measurable in microseconds, but the kind of people who find themselves in the role of convention delegates should know better. As it stands Clinton is still the lead with 1148 delegates to Obama's 1121. A 27 delegate lead. She has won 842 delegates and has 224 superdelegates. Obama has won 986 delegates and has 135 superdelegates. Since Super Tuesday she has gained 31 superdelegates to his gain of 29. If she hadn't been able to count on the party establishment's support, Obama would be the front runner.

Less than three months ago I was writing a wrap up for 2007 for subter (RIP) and things were very different. It was her nomination -- and her presidency. No one on the Blue Team had a chance against her formidable lead. On the Red side Giuliani was the front runner, but his ability to mobilize his own party, particularly the evangelical wing, was deeply suspect. We were supposed to see a new President Clinton. No wonder she feels like an underdog. She feels denied. But what is denying her her chance is, paradoxically, her own power within the party. People want change and whatever Hilary Clinton represents it isn't change.

As for the Red Team, apparently Huckabee didn't get the memo telling him that McCain has it all wrapped up. And neither did the Republicans of Louisiana, Kansas, and possibly Washington. In Washington the party hierarchy chose to call it for McCain with only 87 percent of the votes counted, and left more votes uncounted than the size of the gap between McCain and Huckabee. There were 1500 votes ignored and McCain's lead was only 242 votes. Huckabee is threatening legal action. Still, McCain's lead is substantial, 723 to 217. Romney is still in second place.

As an evangelical, Huckabee gets a strong negative response from a lot of people. This has as much to do with people's biases against evangelicals and their association with George W. as it does Huckabee himself. They forget that Jimmy Carter is also one. Nevertheless, people seem to like the man, even if they would never consider voting for him. One person's response to his appearance on The Colbert Report was typical, "Against all my better judgment and morals and beliefs, I can't help but really like Huckabee. I wouldn't vote for him in a million kajillion years, but he seems like such a genuinely nice guy..."

As for that appearance:

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