Monday, March 10, 2008

March 9, 2008

     Well, no, the fat lady didn't sing in Wyoming and no one expects her to warble in Mississippi this Tuesday either.  Fact is, she's walked off stage, may have gone out for a long lunch, couple of martinis, whatever.  The small states just don't have that many delegates, and the next big state, Pennsylvania, is weeks away.  It may not settle things either because Democrats, unlike Republicans, don't have winner-take-all primaries;  they have proportional representation so, if you win a fairly close election, you get just a few more delegates than the guy you beat.  A system only Democrats could love, right?
     So it may come down to the superdelegates. The Dems have almost 800 of them, and they may be the ones who decide the nomination this year.  How will they do that?  Some say they'll vote the way people in their district did.  Congressman John Lewis, for instance, switched from Clinton to Obama because voters in his Atlanta, Georgia, district were overwhelmingly for Obama.  But some say no, if it's close, if the two are within, say, a hundred delegates of each other, the superdelegates should just use their best judgment as to who would be the stronger candidate in the general election.
     And what do the candidates do as this long race plays out?  Hillary Clinton, presumably, stays on the attack.  Hey, she'll tell herself, I cut him up pretty good in Ohio,  Pennsylvania is sort of like Ohio, and I've got a knife in each hand, so let's rock and roll!  Obama has a harder choice.  He ran on the new politics, promising to change the partisan wrangling which has so crippled government these last few years.  Now that he's lost some primaries, does he switch?  If he does, do voters say, heck, he's just one more old pol, a hack like the rest of them?  Or do they applaud him for fighting back?  Tough call.
     And John McCain?  His challenge is to stay in the news, to share the front page with the Democrats.  And, maybe, to win over conservatives.  L. Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center has a long piece in Sunday's Washington Post, listing McCain's departures from conservative orthodoxy, calling on him to make America "honor the sanctity of life, the sanctity of marriage and family" for instance.  But one reason reporters tend to like McCain is that when he tries to be a traditional politician, he gets his lines wrong and usually makes a mess of it.
     Hey, fat lady--take your time.  It's all right with me.   


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